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Posted: 1/5/2012 4:35:18 PM EST
Welcome to a brave new world: Genetic scientists create freakish man-made monster ants with huge heads and jaws

By Rob Waugh

Last updated at 9:13 PM on 5th January 2012

Nightmarish 'supersoldier' ants with huge heads and jaws have been created by activating ancient genes.


A supersoldier next to a normal ant: Scientists say they can create the supersoldiers at will by dabbing normal ant larvae with a special hormone - the larvae then develop into supersoldiers rather than normal soldier or worker ants

Scientists believe the monster ants may be a genetic throwback to an ancestor that lived millions of years ago.

Supersoldier ants can occur naturally in the wild, but only rarely. In the deserts of America and Mexico, their job is to protect the colony from raids by invading army ants.

The supersoldiers use their enormous heads to block the nest entrance and attack any enemy ants that get too close.

Scientists showed that ordinary ants of the species Pheidole morrisi contain all the genetic 'tools' needed to turn them into supersoldiers - they just need a hormonal push.

The research is reported today in the journal Science.

The full story
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:37:07 PM EST
What could possibly go wrong?

http://www.newanimal.org/them_giant_ant.jpg
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:37:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:37:24 PM EST
I hate ants.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:38:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:38:51 PM EST
Wait til some scientist does this to fire ants, they get out, and start to mutate into the general fire ant population.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:39:41 PM EST
Since birds are supposedly the descendants of dinosaurs, I wonder if they can isolate the hormone with which to inject into a robin's egg to hatch a baby T-rex?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:39:56 PM EST
Great.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:40:36 PM EST
No way anything bad could come of this.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:40:48 PM EST
Best round for super soldier ant?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:41:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Molotov357:
Best round for super soldier ant?


10mm caseless API.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:41:44 PM EST
Phase IV
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:43:23 PM EST
I, for one, welcome our freakish, big headed ant overlords.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:44:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 4:54:24 PM EST by LoBrau]
I guess it's the beginning of the end.

ETA: Shit, that was grasshoppers.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:44:40 PM EST
I'm gonna need a larger magnifying glass.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:45:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Colonel_Angus:
What could possibly go wrong?

http://www.newanimal.org/them_giant_ant.jpg


My first thought.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:47:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Silence:
Phase IV


Wake me up when we hit phase VII
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:48:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By hourglassing:
Since birds are supposedly the descendants of dinosaurs, I wonder if they can isolate the hormone with which to inject into a robin's egg to hatch a baby T-rex?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QVXdEOiCw8
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:49:11 PM EST
Maybe they should work on fixing the killer bee thing before doing this stuff again....
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:49:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
I'm gonna need a larger magnifying glass.


Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:50:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
I'm gonna need a larger magnifying glass.


I lol'd hard.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:50:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
No way anything bad could come of this.


They're just activating genes already present in the genome. This isn't really all that innovative/manipulative. It says these supersized ants sometimes appear naturally in the wild, the scientists have just figured out which hormone can make it happen on a regular basis. We can already do similar things with other social insect species.

It is cool though.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:50:28 PM EST
FPNI


"Them!"
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:50:42 PM EST
Maybe we can swab some bald-faced hornet larvae with this special hormone.

Science isn't about why, it's about why not!
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:52:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
I'm gonna need a larger magnifying glass.


And a welding hood.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:53:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By AlvinYork:
Originally Posted By Colonel_Angus:
What could possibly go wrong?

http://www.newanimal.org/them_giant_ant.jpg


My first thought.


Due to the physiology of insects, ants that size are next to impossible.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:54:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By nick89302:
FPNI


"Them!"


THEM!

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:54:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:55:59 PM EST
I have eaten ants.

They do need some more meat on those bones, so I say keep up the good work!
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:57:08 PM EST
I'm waiting for the talented folks who use photo shop to add a picture of themselves with thier favorite AR to this photo, thus saving this chick from certain doom....
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:59:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Flamicane:
Maybe we can swab some bald-faced hornet larvae with this special hormone.

Science isn't about why, it's about why not!


What a ridiculous statement. You don't even comprehend what you're criticizing.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:59:49 PM EST
THEM !
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:00:06 PM EST
Bull shit that's just a Cornnut with some roach legs attached.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:01:03 PM EST
WHY WOULD YOU CREATE SUCH A THING!?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:03:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mosin_Nagant:
WHY WOULD YOU CREATE SUCH A THING!?


First we figure out how to make ant heads bigger. Then we apply that knowledge towards making other heads bigger.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:03:35 PM EST
Aw shit!

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:03:44 PM EST
They're testing super soldier serum on the lower life forms first.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:04:14 PM EST


I, for one, welcome our ant overlords.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:04:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:05:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By AR4U:
Originally Posted By Flamicane:
Maybe we can swab some bald-faced hornet larvae with this special hormone.

Science isn't about why, it's about why not!


What a ridiculous statement. You don't even comprehend what you're criticizing.


Why do you hate science?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:09:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mach:
I have eaten ants.

They do need some more meat on those bones, so I say keep up the good work!


No bones, exoskeleton.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:12:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By AlvinYork:
Originally Posted By Mach:
I have eaten ants.

They do need some more meat on those bones, so I say keep up the good work!


No bones, exoskeleton.


Well, They did crunch a bit, I just assumed they were bones and I guess that is why there wasn't any meat on them
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:14:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 5:15:38 PM EST by BURN]
just because you could does not mean you should

add this to the mold/spore/plant thng that turns ants into zombies and we are fucked
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:15:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By Flamicane:

Science isn't about why, it's about why not!

Indeed!

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:15:15 PM EST
I bet the same biological tweak is the reason my genitals are so much larger than those of the average male.

I have super soldier junk.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:16:38 PM EST
Glad I held on to my 17hm2
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:19:24 PM EST
For post 357, I give you the solution to this problem.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:23:11 PM EST
I, for one, welcome our Ant Overlords.


Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:35:29 PM EST
I believe the process is similar to the royal jelly that helps a regular apis mellifera larvae grow into a queen. I say royal jelly, but it is probably a mixture of many things the bees produce.
Originally Posted By AR4U:
Originally Posted By Flamicane:
Maybe we can swab some bald-faced hornet larvae with this special hormone.

Science isn't about why, it's about why not!


What a ridiculous statement. You don't even comprehend what you're criticizing.


Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:40:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:41:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By shade_1313:
I, for one, welcome our freakish, big headed ant overlords.

in gratitude.....
They will kill you last
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