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Monday, May 03, 2010

Parasitic wasps create zombie cockroaches

That title could serve as the name of a musical group, I guess.

However, it refers to another article by Carl Zimmer, a fine science writer. (Unfortunately, this particular article has a few typos, but it's worth reading, anyway.)

Zimmer reports on research into the life of a cockroach, and a small wasp, which parasitizes the cockroach. The wasp stings the cockroach in such a way that the wasp can guide the roach into the wasp's burrow, where it spends the next few days of its short life serving as a meal for a developing wasp, while still living.

Recent research has indicated the particular part of the cockroach's brain that is stung, and has begun to discover why being stung in that area makes the roach docile, but there's a long way to go before full understanding comes, if it ever does.

An interesting article.

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