Ants vs Zombies

We’ve known about zombie ants for some time. These are ants infected with the parasitic fungus, O. unilateralis, which takes over their bodies amd moved them around like a zombie. This fungus is often referred to as a “brain parasite,” but new research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the brains of these zombie ants are left intact by the parasite, and that O. unilateralis is able to control the actions of its host by infiltrating and surrounding muscle fibers throughout the ant’s body. Jeff and Anthony wonder if these new revelations are better or worse for the ants… or us.

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Today’s story was sent in by Emil Lange: https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-that-turns-ants-into-zombies-is-more-diaboli-1820301538

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