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Fountain of Youth to be found in the anthill?
Date:11/20/2008

their levels of organization from organism to society, according to luminary Edward O. Wilson. Liebig believes that the study of social insects and using them as models for human systems has the potential to transform understanding about aging, sociobiology, neurobiology, learning and memory and behavior.

Liebig believes his collaborators on the HHMI project would agree. "Social insect societies are remarkable in that their specialization extends beyond the organism level, to function at the level of the 'superorganism,'" Liebig notes. "In that way, the division of labor seen between reproductive and non-reproductive individuals is analogous to cellular specialization in different organs in a multicellular organism. The prediction is that epigenetic regulation may determine behavioural castes in ant colonies."

"Who knows? Separating these effects may even give us the tools and understanding to look at what regulates longevity in humans," Liebig adds.


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Contact: Margaret Coulombe
margaret.coulombe@asu.edu
480-727-8934
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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