Sunday, 3 July 2016

Similarities found in bee and mammal social organization

Date: June 30, 2016
Source: PLOS

New research shows similarities in the social organisation of bees and mammals, and provides insight into the genetics of social behavior for other animals. These findings, published in PLOS Computational Biology, use sociogenomics -- a field that explores the relationship between social behaviour and the genome -- to show strong similarities in socially genetic circuits common in honey bees and mammals.

The last common ancestor of the animals and insects is thought to be a legless creature that lived over 600 million years ago, for which we have no evidence of social behavior. Since then social insects such as honey bees and social mammals such as ourselves have pursued separate paths to our well-developed complex sociality. But a major unanswered question in understanding the genomic bases of social behavior is whether these separate paths towards sociality emerged from common molecular roots or drew upon different molecular substrates each time.

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