Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ants make web

14.03.2002


Researchers can now crawl through data on 11,000 ant species.
© Antbase


Formidable catalogue puts army of ants online.

After four years of cooperation and tenacity worthy of their quarry, ant experts have completed Antbase, a centralized, online information resource cataloguing all 11,000 known species of ant.

Its creators hope that Antbase will one day become the ant equivalent of GenBank, the public database of genetic sequence data, and a boon not just for ant specialists, but for entomologists and ecologists of every kind.



Ant taxonomists Donat Agosti of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Norman Johnson of Ohio State University in Columbus built Antbase using funds from general research budgets and small institutional grants. Having compiled a full list of ant names, they hope their homespun project will now win long-term funding and a permanent home. "It needs to be institutionalized," says Agosti.

The database’s backbone is an updated list of species names. Compiling the list was anything but trivial, Agosti and Johnson say. Descriptions of new species published in obscure journals over the past century had led to heavy duplication. As the project progressed, Antbase shrank to its current size from an initial list of over 20,000 names. "We’re trying to pick up the debris from nineteenth-century taxonomy," says Johnson.

Records for each species are being linked to information on their geographical distribution and life history, plus pictures held by the Japanese Ant Color Image Database.

Antbase could emerge as a long-needed resource for ant taxonomists, says Ted Schultz, who works as one at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. "Before, you had to spend hours photocopying thousands of pages of primary literature," he says. The resource could also aid more general studies of ecosystems, where ants often have a prominent role. "Ants are an incredibly useful ecological indicator," Schultz adds.

TOM CLARKE | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://research.amnh.org/entomology/social_insects/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia 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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>