Tuesday, 9 October 2012



The Internet, a network of computers covering the entire planet, allows people to access almost any information located anywhere in the world at any time. Its effects on business, communication, economy, entertainment and even politics are profound. The Internet may not have changed the world as much as the plow, but it's probably on par with the steam engine or automobile.


DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the research and development arm of the U.S. military, created ARPANET in the late 1960s. This network of computer-to-computer connections was intended for military and academic research. Other computer networks began to cross the globe in the next few years, and by the late 1970s computer scientists had created a single protocol, TCP/IP, that would allow computers on any network to communicate with computers on other networks. This was, essentially, the birth of the Internet, but it took 10 or so years for various other networks in the world to adopt the new protocol, making the Internet truly global.

The Internet is such a powerful invention that we've probably only begun to see the effects it will have on the world. The ability to diffuse and recombine information with such efficiency could accelerate the rate at which further world-changing inventions are created. At the same time, some fear that our ability to communicate, work, play and do business via the Internet breaks down our ties to local communities and causes us to become socially isolated. Like any invention, the good or ill it accomplishes will come from how we choose to use it.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Zombie Ants (Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis)


Zombie Fungus:

 Main Story:                              

   A stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani, grows out of a “zombie” ant’s head in a Brazilian rain forest. Originally thought to be a single species, called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the fungus is actually four distinct species—all of which can “mind control” ants.

The fungus species infects an ant, then takes over its brain (what is it about Zombies and brains) and then kills the insect once it has moved to a location that is ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.
Picture of a "zombie" ant, part of a round-up of the best science discoveries of 2011
Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis
According to some scientists;
The fungus then kills the ant, and continues to grow as its mycelia invade more soft tissues and structurally fortify the ant’s exoskeleton. More mycelia then sprout out of the ants, and securely anchor it to the plant substrate while secreting antimicrobials to ward off competition. When releasing the spores. This process takes four to ten days.
The changes in the behavior of the infected ants are very specific, giving rise to the term “Zombie ants”, and tuned for the benefit of the fungus. The ants generally clamp to a leaf’s vein about twenty five cm above the ground, on the northern side if the plant, in an environment with 94-95% humidity and temperatures between 20 and 30°C. when the dead ants are repositioned in various other situations, further vegetative growth and sporulation either fails to occur or results in undersized and abnormal reproductive structures.
However the ants have developed sense to identify the infected ants, they recognize the infection and then carry the infected “Zombie Ant” away from their nest to prevent others ants from the  fungus infection.