Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

Tips For Creating And Purchasing Company T Shirts And Sweatshirts

byAlma Abell

There is a general misconception that everyone loves a free t-shirt or sweatshirt from their employer; however, the fact is that low quality shirts will not be worn and likely be turned into rags or simply donated next spring. There are far too many companies that provide extremely poor quality shirts, which are ugly too boot. A solution – purchase high-quality, great looking shirts that will actually be worn, some tips to get that done are highlighted here.

Purchase High-Quality Options

The fact is that companies purchase shirts that are scratchy and rough because they are cheap. A general rule of thumb is that if you would not wear the shirt, chances are no one else will. Find soft shirts that are fitted and available in a number of different colors. While they may cost a bit more, it is definitely a smart investment.

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Purchase Smaller Sizes

Believe it or not when you purchase T-Shirts & Sweatshirts Retail Richmond VA, there are much fewer XXL people than you may think. Additionally, smaller people will not want to shirt to simply use as a nightgown, so increase the number of smaller sizes and decrease the number of larger sizes.

Be Bold

Your business likely has a uniform or some other type of appropriate work wear. The t-shirts and sweatshirts that you are giving workers should be a little bolder than traditional work wear. Show a little attitude and let your workers know that you encourage a fun working environment.

Select Various Designs or Colors

After all, variety is the spice of life. Consider different colors or designs for various departments, or one for the men and one for the women. You can also just mix it up offering an array of colors and allowing the employers to choose. Many printing companies will offer multiple choices, so you should find something that will take your interest.

Be Sure to Save the Screens

When you have a shirt screen printed, the most expensive and tedious portion of the process is creating the screen. However, once it is done, it will not have to be repeated. If you request for the shop to save the screen, when you re-order you can save several dollars for every shirt that is ordered.

Image Designers Inc. offers a range of T-shirts and sweatshirts retail in Richmond, VA. Visit TshirtsRichmondVA.com for more information.

Interview with Reggie Bibbs on his life with neurofibromatosis

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.

400 Australian soldiers sent to Afghanistan

Sunday, August 20, 2006

400 Australian soldiers have been officially farewelled at parade in Darwin, NT, ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan on Tuesday. Wishing the soldiers well, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson says there is a high risk associated with the mission.

“We know that this is a dangerous mission but it’s also an extremely important one,” he said. “They will go beginning this week and be deployed over the next few weeks.”

The group will work around the southern Oruzgan Province. Rising violence in the Taliban heartland province earlier this month prompted Australian Prime Minister John Howard to further strengthen the capability of the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF). Approximately 150 personnel will be added to the 240-strong force announced in May.

Defence says the RTF will form part of the Netherlands-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Oruzgan province under NATO.

More than 1800 people have been killed in fighting in Afghanistan this year, 92 of them foreign soldiers (12 being Canadian). A contingent of 190 Australian special forces, supported by a 110-member helicopter detachment, has suffered a steady flow of casualties since September year, with 11 wounded — a rate of one a month. The Age reports the Howard Government has “kept secret” how soldiers suffered the wounds, or the extent or nature of the wounds.

Dr Nelson said the soldiers would perform command, construction, communications intelligence, protection and logistics support. “We must stick with our allies and stand up for our values,” he said. He told the troops they would be “dealing with people who are fanatically opposed to our way of life and everything we stand for”.

Dr Nelson says the Australian contribution will also include skills training for the local population to “ensure the benefits of the deployment continue long after our personnel have returned home.”

Pet Health Care Insurance Check Whats Excluded}

Submitted by: SeanHorton

Everybody agrees pet health care insurance is vital, if you want to make sure your pet receives the best possible care.

However, once you have purchased your pet health care insurance policy, you may be tempted to sit back and think you are covered for all eventualities. But this will almost certainly not be the case.

In actual fact, there are very few pet health care insurance policies that provide total blanket cover. The vast majority have some exclusions, and usually (though not always) the less expensive the policy the more exclusions it will have. Plus of course the onus is usually on you to make sure you know what the exclusions are. Its no good finding out just when you are about to make a claim.

So what types of exclusion are we talking about?

The most common exclusion is for a pre-existing condition that is, a medical condition which the pet was already suffering from before you took out the policy. Obviously, this is to guard against pet owners hastily deciding to take out insurance when their pet is diagnosed with an expensive problem! The easiest way to avoid this is to insure your pet as early in its life as possible this will often ensure cheaper premiums too. But remember insurers vary widely in their interpretation of pre-existing conditions some will find all sorts of excuses to avoid paying out.

Some pet health care insurance policies exclude age-related conditions. If you see this in the small print you would be well advised to avoid that particular policy, unless you can obtain a specific list of exactly what conditions are referred to. Obviously, the older pets get, the more likely they are to be ill, so any condition could potentially be classed as age related! But it is very likely to mean a condition such as arthritis will be excluded, and this is very expensive to treat.

It has been known for an insurance policy to rule out investigative work! Again, you should avoid such a policy unless it is made very clear whats involved. Very few diagnoses can be made by the vet without some form of investigative procedure such as x-rays, scans or blood-tests, which can all be very expensive.

Some policies impose age limits that is, they wont take on a pet over a certain age e.g. 8 for a cat or dog for a new policy. This is understandable though it can cause problems if you adopt an elderly rescue pet. What can be much more of a problem is policies that wont continue a pets insurance when it reaches a certain age. You should look for a policy that offers lifetime cover though even then you have to study the small print to make sure lifetime really means lifetime.

If you have a pure-bred pet, you need to check the policy to make sure that conditions related to that breed are not specifically excluded. For instance, spaniels are particularly susceptible to heart problems, so some policies may exclude heart disease for a spaniel.

You may find a policy excludes conditions for which a vaccine is available, if the pet has not been vaccinated for that condition. For instance if you fail to have your cat vaccinated against cat flu and he develops that disease, you wont be covered.

Obviously, no pet health care insurance policy can offer a blank cheque it would be far too expensive. Exclusions are just a way of keeping the cost down most are reasonable but some are just an excuse to avoid paying out. Before taking out a policy, it goes without saying that you must study the small print and particularly the exclusions. But as well as this, find out as much as you can about the companys pay-out record. These steps should prevent you getting a nsaty shock at claim-time.

About the Author: Sean Horton is a Director of

petquote.co.uk

who provide comprehensive and affordable

Pet Health Care Insurance

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Queensland prisoners put to work manufacturing water tanks

Monday, April 30, 2007

Prisoners in the Australian state of Queensland have been put to work manufacturing rainwater tanks to help meet a shortfall in supply.

The southeast corner of Queensland, which is currently undergoing one of its worst droughts on record, is experiencing a boom in the rainwater tank industry. Households, encouraged by subsidies introduced by the Beattie government, have enthusiastically begun installing rainwater tanks as well as other water-saving devices. These subsidies have led to a shortfall in supply however, with some households waiting months for tanks to be installed.

The new initiative, announced by Premier Peter Beattie as well as Corrective Services minister Judy Spence will see prisoners at Woodford Correctional Centre, Australia’s largest gaol, constructing tanks for AU$4 per day. Spence has pledged not to use the cheap labour to undercut existing tank suppliers. Beattie also pointed out that the programme would give prisoners constructing the tanks valuable work skills for when their sentences are completed. If the programme is successful, it may be extended to other gaols around the state.

The Beattie government has been increasingly criticised over recent months for its failure to handle the water crisis engulfing Southeast Queensland. Opponents accuse the Government of a lack of planning foresight with regards to water supply for the booming area, which includes state capital Brisbane, as well as other cities such as Ipswich, Toowoomba and Gold Coast.

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

The Next Three Years Are Sustainable High Growth

By Himfr Paul

The main products Hing Man steel ring of steel wheels, inner tubes can be divided according to whether the steel wheels and tubeless steel wheels, inner tubes. Among them, the main supporting tubeless wheels in the heavy truck, medium and large passenger cars and the economy on the micro-Ke; a tube steel wheel, also known as the wheel, mainly applied to construction machinery, trucks and agricultural vehicles. At present the main wheels of steel in the low-end configuration in the commercial vehicle and passenger car, the car’s lightweight development, selection of light materials such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, high strength steel and other alternative is now widely used in steel reduce body weight, payload can increase the rate of increase in fuel economy. Compared with steel wheels, aluminum wheels, light weight, high accuracy, but the price is about 3 times the wheels of steel, so aluminum wheels in the car on the main assembly; and steel wheels are by virtue of its safety performance, a balance indicator Good, inexpensive and processing advantages of low waste, mainly used in commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and construction machinery in the low-end, the short to medium term, there is no alternative to steel wheels aluminum wheels risks.

Hing Man Wheel OEM Wheel is the market leader. According to “China Automobile Industry Yearbook (2009 Edition)” Statistics, 2008, the company’s second production of steel wheel industry. Xing tires are the number one key is to do AM market, OEM market, the company is the leading steel ring. Wheel of total 2009 sales of the company 9.02 million, up 54%, higher than the automobile industry sales growth, market share was 15%. The company’s main customers are Foton Motor, Chang’an Automobile, the five levy car, Shenyang Jinbei, Dalian forklifts, Daewoo Heavy Industries, which Fukuda, Chang’an, the five signs. OEM market and the AM market share of around 7:3. Domestic and export company in 2008 the proportion of the domestic auto market for the 2.9:1,2009 years due to the hot and foreign financial crisis, as well as capacity planning, the company fart foreign orders to ensure that the domestic OEM market, has resulted in the export ratio of 5.3:1 . -2,011 in 2010 the company will release new capacity and gradually solve the capacity bottlenecks, three years after the final production capacity will reach 20 million, to join the international leading supplier of steel wheels ranks.

Tubeless steel wheels replace steel wheels with inner tubes trends contribute to improvement in gross margin. Tubeless steel wheels, relatively light weight and does not happen there is the danger of tire puncture, so has the fuel economy and safety features, have the advantage of the wheel inner tube, high strength, low cost, in poor condition, low-speed running Under an advantage. Therefore, agricultural vehicles and construction machinery in general use tire wheel, the wheel does not exist to be replaced with the risk of inner tubes, but in high-end heavy truck, medium and large customers, with the improvement of road conditions and overloading of the reduction in tubeless wheel advantages, there are alternatives with tube wheel trend. According to the figures disclosed in the 2009 annual report, tubeless steel wheels and steel wheels, inner tubes gross margins were 22.36% and 12.53%, tubeless steel wheels replace steel wheels with inner tubes trend will increase the company’s consolidated gross product interest rates.

Steel price increases, Hing Man Wheel switching costs have on the ability of OEMs. Hing Man steel ring products such as raw material costs constitute 70% of the cost of steel, paint and other accessories, 5%, 5% depreciation, wages represent about 12%, the rest as a driving force and others.

2009 and first quarter 2010 product gross margin for the 15.46% and 15.79%, more stable. Wheels, the most important parts of a vehicle is directly related to traffic safety and driving comfort, the supporting system into the vehicle factory certified and testing needs, there are some barriers to entry; vehicle plant for their own safety and the manufacturers will be considered honorary Wheel excellent selection of quality suppliers, so that when steel and other raw material prices, the steel ring factory has the capacity of the downstream transfer of costs to gross profit margin to remain stable. In particular, such as Hing Man Wheel OEM market leading enterprise products in short supply, has been up against capacity constraints, ability to be more of this shift.

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Wheel of technology content of production is not low. Currently on the market generally felt that the structure of steel ring simple manufacturing process is relatively simple, in fact, steel ring as an important driving auto parts, on driving safety and comfort is very important to the smooth, beat on the track, beating other axis reflects the flatness and cylindrical indicator of the level required more stringent, the need for design and manufacturing processes to do security.

Hing Man Wheel 2007 -2 009 years of research into the proportion of total revenues were 2.35%, 2.38% and 2.68%.

Raise investment projects and raise the project is finished over the company’s production capacity will ease the bottleneck.

Companies raise investment projects is 200 million sets of high-strength lightweight steel wheels, tubeless construction project, its dimensions of 22.5-inch diameter, mainly used in heavy trucks and large and medium high-end customers, the market penetration in Europe and the United States has been 95%, while in the country, large and medium customers in the OEM market is already widely used, but in the heavy truck usage is very low. Foreign markets, the company’s large-size tubeless rims have made third-party certification, as long as productivity, sales quickly; the domestic market, due in large size heavy truck tubeless rims with lower utilization rates, as is also facing a huge incremental market. The short term, the project-based products to the international market, mainly supporting dragon domestic passenger cars, buses and heavy trucks Fukuda. The project has now entered a stage of purchase of equipment installation, commissioning will be completed in the third quarter production.

Hing Man Super raise steel ring for the 4 million project car wheel production projects with a total investment of 300 million yuan, the product is high quality steel wheels car locally, the annual sales income of 340 million yuan. The project is expected to be put into operation on the first half of 2011.

Hing Man Wheel of non-fund-raising projects, 2 million tubeless wheel, the main market for light vehicles, micro-off will be in production in 2010. The above project is finished, the new capacity by 2010, four million in 2010 and then the new capacity 4 million, up 16 million of capacity to address capacity bottlenecks, according to the company bore, three years to reach production capacity Hing Man Wheel 20 million. Sign has been in short supply in our products, the project will soon put into production over production for the foreseeable revenues and profits within three years will maintain high growth.

Earnings forecasts and investment ratings:

Capacity since 2009, the company has been very tight and OEMs to the months of high incidence to goods, the company in order to maintain client stability, give up the foreign orders, even if it is still only part to meet the needs of OEMs. The next three years, the company increased production capacity will help the company seize the rapid growth of the domestic car market and the international transfer of auto parts to China, the trend of big opportunities; the company’s large-size items and car tubeless wheel projects, will help companies to increase product structure, to achieve high-end product strategy. The next three years, the company’s revenue and earnings growth will remain high, estimated EPS for 2010-2011 were 0.51 yuan and 0.65 yuan, taking into account its high growth, given the “Recommended” investment rating.

About the Author: I am a professional editor from

China Suppliers

, and my work is to promote a free online trade platform. http://www.frbiz.com/ contain a great deal of information about

digital basal thermometers

,

leather saddles

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baseboard electric heater thermostat

, welcome to visit!

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News briefs:April 17, 2010

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Biologist Nick Bos tells Wikinews about ‘self-medicating’ ants

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nick Bos, of the University of Helsinki, studies “the amazing adaptations social insects have evolved in order to fight the extreme parasite pressure they experience”. In a recently-accepted Evolution paper Bos and colleagues describe ants appearing to self-medicate.

I have no doubt that as time goes on, there will be more and more cases documented

The team used Formica fusca, an ant species that can form thousand-strong colonies. This common black ant eats other insects, and also aphid honeydew. It often nests in tree stumps or under rocks and foraging workers can sometimes be spotted climbing trees.

Some ants were infected with Beauveria bassiana, a fungus. Infected ants chose food laced with toxic hydrogen peroxide, whereas healthy ants avoided it. Hydrogen peroxide reduced infected ant fatalities by 15%, and the ants varied their intake depending upon how high the peroxide concentration was.

In the wild, Formica fusca can encounter similar chemicals in aphids and dead ants. The Independent reported self-medicating ants a first among insects.

Bos obtained his doctorate from the University of Copenhagen. He began postdoctoral research at Helsinki in 2012. He also runs the AntyScience blog. The blog aims to help address “a gap between scientists and ‘the general public’.” The name is a pun referencing ants, its primary topic, science, and “non-scientific” jargon-free communication. He now discusses his work with Wikinews.

((Wikinews)) What first attracted you to researching ants?

Nick Bos Me and a studymate were keeping a lot of animals during our studies, from beetles, to butterflies and mantids, to ants. We had the ants in an observation nest, and I could just look at them for hours, watching them go about. This was in my third year of Biology study I think. After a while I needed to start thinking about an internship for my M.Sc. studies, and decided to write a couple of professors. I ended up going to the Centre for Social Evolution at the University of Copenhagen where I did a project on learning in Ants under supervision of Prof. Patrizia d’Ettorre. I liked it so much there I ended up doing a PhD and I’ve been working on social insects ever since.

((Wikinews)) What methods and equipment were used for this investigation?

NB This is a fun one. I try to work on a very low budget, and like to build most of the experimental setups myself (we actually have equipment in the lab nicknamed the ‘Nickinator’, ‘i-Nick’ and the ‘Nicktendo64’). There’s not that much money in fundamental science at the moment, so I try to cut the costs wherever possible. We collected wild colonies of Formica fusca by searching through old tree-trunks in old logging sites in southern Finland. We then housed the ants in nests I made using Y-tong [aerated concrete]. It’s very soft stone that you can easily carve. We carved out little squares for the ants to live in (covered with old CD covers to prevent them escaping!). We then drilled a tunnel to a pot (the foraging arena), where the ants got the choice between the food with medicine and the food without.
We infected the ants by preparing a solution of the fungus Beauveria bassiana. Afterwards, each ant was dipped in the solution for a couple of seconds, dried on a cloth and put in the nest. After exposing the ants to the fungus, we took pictures of each foraging arena three times per day, and counted how many ants were present on each food-source.
This gave us the data that ants choose more medicine after they have been infected.
The result that healthy ants die sooner when ingesting ROS [Reactive Oxygen Species, the group of chemicals that includes hydrogen peroxide] but infected ants die less was obtained in another way (as you have to ‘force feed’ the ROS, as healthy ants, when given the choice, ignore that food-source.)
For this we basically put colonies on a diet of either food with medicine or without for a while. And afterwards either infected them or not. Then for about two weeks we count every day how many ants died. This gives us the data to do a so-called survival analysis.
We measured the ROS-concentration in the bodies of ants after they ingested the food with the medicine using a spectrophotometer. By adding certain chemicals, the ROS can be measured using the emission of light of a certain wave-length.
The detrimental effect of ROS on spores was easy to measure. We mixed different concentrations of ROS with the spores, plated them out on petridishes with an agar-solution where fungus can grow on. A day after, we counted how many spores were still alive.

((Wikinews)) How reliable do you consider your results to be?

NB The results we got are very reliable. We had a lot of colonies containing a lot of ants, and wherever possible we conducted the experiment blind. This means the experimenter doesn’t know which ants belong to which treatment, so it’s impossible to influence the results with ‘observer bias’. However, of course this is proof in just one species. It is hard to extrapolate to other ants, as different species lead very different lives.
At the moment it seems that sick ants mostly take care of the problem themselves

((Wikinews)) Where did the ants and fungus you used come from? How common are they in the wild?

NB For ants, see above about the collection.
This species of fungus does appear in Finland, but we chose to use a different strain from Denmark (with thanks to Prof. J. Eilenberg and the laboratory technician Louise Lee Munch Larsen from the University of Copenhagen). Animals can adapt to local strains (‘local adaptation’), and just to make sure we thought it would be good to use a strain of fungus that the ants definitely did not evolve specific resistances against. This means that the reaction of the ants (to self-medicate) is very likely to be a general response, and not just against their local fungal enemies.

((Wikinews)) Are there any ethical considerations around exposing ants to toxins and parasites?

NB Legally, no. Insects do not have any ‘rights’ as such regarding ethics. That said, we do take measures to not make them ‘suffer unnecessarily’. For example, dissections are done when the ants are anesthetized (either by CO2 or Ice), and when ants need to be killed, we do it in alcohol, which kills the ants in a matter of seconds. So while the ants do not have ‘rights’ as such, we still try to handle them with as much respect as possible (even though the experiment involves infecting them with a deadly fungus).
But even though the 12,000 ants in our study sounds like a lot (and it is), this is negligible in the ‘grand scheme of things’. It has been calculated that in the Netherlands alone, nearly a trillion insects die against just the licence-plates of cars every six months. I don’t own a car, so that means I’m excused right? 😉

((Wikinews)) This is the first evidence for self-medicating insects. How widespread do you think this phenomenon could be in reality?

NB It’s not actually the first evidence for self-medication in insects. Moths and fruit flies definitely do it, and there’s evidence in honey bees and bumble-bees as well. So it seems to be quite wide-spread in the insect world. I have no doubt that as time goes on, there will be more and more cases documented. Insects (and animals in general) seem to be quite good at taking care of themselves.

((Wikinews)) How might ants locate healing substances in the wild?

NB Very good question. This is something that’s important to know. If they would only do it in the lab, the behaviour wouldn’t be very interesting. We have some guesses where they might get it from, but at the moment we don’t know yet. That said, I plan to investigate this question (among others) further [in] the next couple of years.

((Wikinews)) For your PhD you researched ants’ scent-based communications. Could healthy ants perhaps tell other ants are infected and encourage this behaviour?

NB There’s not much known about this. There’s conflicting evidence about whether sick ants actually smell different from healthy ones or not. At the moment it seems that sick ants mostly take care of the problem themselves. Sick ants stop most interaction with nestmates and especially brood, and leave the nest to die in isolation. This is probably for reducing chance of infecting nestmates, but of course it also reduces the work load of their nest-mates, as their corpse doesn’t have to be dragged out etc.
So as an answer to the question, I would find it unlikely that such a behaviour would evolve, but it’s not known yet.

((Wikinews)) Ants generally avoided the peroxide if they were healthy, but in some circumstances might they try to build resistance against infection in advance?

NB Who knows? Also not known yet unfortunately. That said, there is a very interesting study about resin collection in ants. Wood ants collect tree-resin, which has anti-microbial properties. They collect this even if not infected, and when you infect them, they don’t collect more of the resin than normal. So basically it seems like they collect it in order to keep diseases out of the nest, so they stop the disease before it can actually infect them.

((Wikinews)) Are there plans to follow this research up? Might you research other species? Other substances?

NB I first want to find out where they get it from in nature. There might be many sources of medicine (recent evidence suggests that tobacco plays a similar role for bumble bees). Dalial Freitak, who is also on this paper is currently running tests with Ph.D. student Siiri Fuchs (who is also on the paper) with other substances to see if any have the same effect as H2O2 [hydrogen peroxide].
Once the behaviour has been well described in this species of ant, I might do a comparison with other species. For example, once we find the source of the medicine in nature… would species without access to this source also have evolved the same behaviour in the lab? And if so… where would they get it from?
Also… can ants medicate their friends? 🙂

((Wikinews)) What other research are you working on right now?

NB Phew…lots! 🙂
I still have some questions left unanswered from my Ph.D. work related to how ants recognize who is a friend and who isn’t. I also started collaborating with Prof. Michael Poulsen from the University of Copenhagen on immunity in fungus-growing termites, as well as their chemical recognition abilities. Furthermore we’re working on social parasitism in wood-ants (ants have lots of animals exploiting the nest for shelter and resources, which all somehow have to get in to the fortress without getting killed).

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