Sunday, 6 May 2012

Article: Ant Zombie Tale: Mind-Controlling Fungus Loses to Lethal Foe

A fungus that invades the brains of ants, turning them into zombies on a death march, may have met its match. Another parasitic fungus, it turns out, effectively castrates the zombie-ant fungus so it can't spread its spores, a new study finds.

The finding explains how an ant colony can survive infestations by the zombie-ant fungus.

"In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the parasite of the zombie-ant fungus is itself a fungus, a hyperparasitic fungus that specializes in attacking the parasite that turns the ants into zombies," said study leader David Hughes of Penn State University in a statement.

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