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 use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'
23.04.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

nachricht Scientists propose new theory on Alzheimer's, amyloid connection
23.04.2019 | Florida Atlantic 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: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple and Fast Method for Radiolabelling Antibodies against Breast Cancer

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Quantum gas turns supersolid

23.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>