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Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments
Date:4/18/2012

lationships among species.

The relationships among eusocial species could do with clarification. Ants and bees diverged a long time ago, and all ant species are eusocial, but bee species run the gamut from solitary to eusocial.

That pattern makes sense, Ben-Shahar says, only if the eusocial trait evolved more than once as new species evolved. Something in hymenoptera DNA may have made that group of animals more sensitive than others to whatever evolutionary pressures led to social behavior, he says.

Genetic control of human behavior is undoubtedly more complicated, Ben-Shahar says, but he points out that the human genome encodes close to 2,000 miRNAS, including two of the five he studied in bee brains, and these 2,000 miRNAs are thought to target roughly 60 percent of our genes.


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Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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