Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Termites get the vibe on what tastes good

21.03.2007
Researchers from CSIRO and UNSW@ADFA have shown that termites can tell what sort of material their food is made of, without having to actually touch it. The findings may lead to improvements in the control of feeding termites.

By offering them a choice between normal wooden blocks and specially designed blocks made of wood and other materials, the researchers found that the termites always preferred the blocks containing the most wood – even though they could not touch or see the other materials.

The results are published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface (“Termites live in a material world: exploration of their ability to differentiate between food sources” by Dr RA Inta, Professor JCS Lai, Mr EW Fu and Dr T Evans (doi: 10.1098/rsif.2007.0223)).

Dr Ra Inta, from UNSW@ADFA [external link] and CSIRO Entomology, says the ability to differentiate between food sources is based on the vibrations of the food that the termites are eating, although the exact mechanism for this ability is yet to be explored.

... more about:
»Inta »termite »vibrations

“The researchers are designing further experiments to test termites’ assessment methods in an attempt to determine precisely what aspect of the vibrations termites are responding to in assessing food.”“Scientists have known for some time that termites are receptive to vibrations,” Dr Inta says. “But these results demonstrate that termites’ methods of food assessment are much more sophisticated that previously thought.

“When offered a choice between blocks of their normal wooden food, and specially engineered blocks made of wood and other materials, they could tell when there was another material attached and always chose the blocks that contained the most wood.”

The researchers are designing further experiments to test termites’ assessment methods in an attempt to determine precisely what aspect of the vibrations termites are responding to in assessing food.

“If we understand how they use vibrations to assess their food, we might be able to exploit this to manipulate their feeding habits, and address the very significant problem of termite damage in buildings and other structures,” Dr Inta says.

This research is a partnership between CSIRO and the University of New South Wales and is funded under the Australian Research Council Discovery project.

Ra Inta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

Further reports about: Inta termite vibrations

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>