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Total posts: [21]
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Scientists unlock ancient genetic code, create super soldiers:

 1 Blue Ninja 0, Thu, 5th Jan '12 7:49:15 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Plotting my Escape
And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/science-creates-supersoldier-ants-with-ancient-genes-20120106-1pnck.html
Nightmarish "supersoldier" ants with huge heads and jaws have been created by activating ancient genes that trigger their development.

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.

Advertisement: Story continues below 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.

By dabbing their larvae with a special hormone, they were able to induce the development of "supersoldiers" instead of normal worker and soldier ants.

The research is reported today in the journal Science.

Authors Dr Rajendhran Rajakumar, from Mc Gill University, Canada, and colleagues wrote: "We uncovered an ancestral development potential to produce a novel supersoldier subcaste that has been retained throughout a hyperdiverse ant genus that evolved 35 to 60 million years ago."

The results suggest that holding on to ancestral development toolkits may play an important role in evolving new physical traits, say the researchers.
Click the link to see the picture. Click it.

Isn't mad science supposed to stay in the realm of fiction???

I don't think we have an actual thread for discussing potential mad science, so let's make this it.
I'm going to get killed becuase some guy saw me walk out of a Subway eating a foot long shotgun - Mousa
 2 Shinziril, Thu, 5th Jan '12 7:52:56 PM from the internet
Compulsive Researcher
The supersoldiers use their enormous heads to block the nest entrance

That thing just looks ridiculous. Although I suspect it's not going to take over the Earth anytime soon. The elder Dr. Narbon would disapprove.

 3 Tuefel Hunden IV, Thu, 5th Jan '12 8:23:14 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
That is interesting if a bit freaky. Tinkering with atavistic traits (I think this is the correct term)sounds like there is a chance to accidentally cause an issue in a population.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 4 Bur, Thu, 5th Jan '12 8:33:01 PM from Flyover Country Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
The normal ant looks like it's doing the ant equivalent of saying "Woah, dude, what happened to your head?"
 5 The Westerner, Thu, 5th Jan '12 11:35:13 PM from The Land of Fools
Malicious
Maybe, the human equivalent super soldier has a big head too.surprised
I was wondering why frisbees got bigger as they got closer then it hit me.
Gunpla is amazing!
So Super Soldier = Big Head Mode?

 7 The Bat Pencil, Fri, 6th Jan '12 12:06:53 AM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
This has but one logical conclusion
And let us pray that come it may (As come it will for a' that)
Not Actually Indie
That is interesting if a bit freaky. Tinkering with atavistic traits (I think this is the correct term)sounds like there is a chance to accidentally cause an issue in a population.

Probably not, given that they're not introducing any new genes into the population, and the "supersoldiers" have no way of propagating the trait. Actually, even if they were introducing new genes into the "supersoldiers, " they'd have no way of passing them on, because soldier ants don't reproduce.
...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.
 9 Heavy DDR, Fri, 6th Jan '12 9:15:23 AM from Central Texas
What's Gravity Falls.
Scientists manage to make dumbest looking ants.
I'm pretty sure the concept of Law having limits was a translation error. -Wanderlustwarrior
Besides, the article says they ALREADY occur naturally. Just not with the frequency scientists can ensure they occur in a lab.
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
 11 CDRW, Fri, 6th Jan '12 10:17:12 AM Relationship Status: Mu
That...looks really gross.

^^Yeah, it's less creating a new species or something and more tweaking the odds of individual development options in an existing one.

edited 6th Jan '12 1:13:41 PM by INUH

 13 Blurring, Fri, 6th Jan '12 12:46:34 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
A force
Agree with Katrika. Personally I think this is just a larger caste.

After reading it this is my personal conclusion of what is happening.

The scientists saw ants with supersoldier subcaste and try to trigger more of them. They identify and isolate the hormone required for it. The writer thinks scientists creating supersoldier ants makes better article than scientists discovering hormones. The writer shift the focus to the supersoldier ants and omitting the effort of the scientists in discovering the hormones.

edited 6th Jan '12 1:52:27 PM by Blurring

I'm making effort to ensure that it is highly unlikely that any bigfoot will ever get to see me, take that bigfoots!
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Super Soldier? Looks more like Crippling Overspecialisation to me. Suspect they're rare for a reason.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 15 Clarste, Fri, 6th Jan '12 1:56:04 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Probably the kind of thing that normally only triggers in unusual circumstances. I believe locusts work like this too: normal grasshoppers become locusts in response to a certain population density. IIRC this can be triggered by rubbing the backs of their legs.

Basically life is cool is interesting. No more and no less.

 16 Shinziril, Fri, 6th Jan '12 2:13:19 PM from the internet
Compulsive Researcher
I find it amusing that the supersoldier ants use their hilariously oversized heads as riot shields/fortress walls to defend the entrance to the colony. It sounds like something out of Pokemon (Bastiodon, anyone?).

Gee, this will sure be useful. Somehow.

 18 Blurring, Fri, 6th Jan '12 2:24:37 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
A force
[up][up] Real ants really do that.
I'm making effort to ensure that it is highly unlikely that any bigfoot will ever get to see me, take that bigfoots!
 19 Pykrete, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:19:03 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
It's cool guys, we only have to worry if they pick out the ones with Hustle and start teaching them Claw Sharpen and X-Scissor en masse.

 20 diomedes 2, Fri, 6th Jan '12 8:41:51 PM from Monroeville PA
Achillesforever6
This reminds of how my idol Jack Horner (who I have met at a paleontologist conference about 1 year ago) wants to mess with the genes with certain birds to try to recreate a dinosaur.
Also known as Achillesforever6 of Lordkat.com fame
@ stripe

It's part of the Canadian super soldier program. We will take over the world one day.

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Total posts: 21
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