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‘Chemist’ ants brew antibiotic cocktail to protect their colony [Science]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Ants have all sorts of jobs we normally think of as human, from architect to farmer to insect-in-chief. Now, scientists are adding one more occupation to that list : chemist. A new study shows that wood ants protect their colonies from disease by crafting a potent antibiotic “cocktail” made of tree resin and poison from their own bodies. The finding, one of the most sophisticated examples of animal pharmacology, could explain how some ants evade epidemics.

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