[ExI] super soldier ants

Kasey Anderson kaseylinanderson at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 18:59:34 UTC 2012

Well, you know, as long as it's an ant-eat-slug world, sounds like a great
idea. ;)  But you know, you get the same problem as with the pesticides.
 At least *one* of the slugs will survive due to some mutation, and by
surviving it will pass its genes on to the next generation of slugs.  Super
ants?  Great.  Super slugs?  Ewww. :D

On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> >... On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> Subject: Re: [ExI] super soldier ants
> 2012/1/6 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> >> Muwaaaahaaahahaahahahahahaaaaa.
> >>
> http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/01/06/2141232/ants-turned-into-supersol
> diers?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email
> >>spike
> >...It doesn't seem very dangerous... unless you changed the gene
> expression
> in some way as to not require the hormone treatment during gestation...
> would be dangerous.  -Kelly
> Here's the problem.  On a farm in Oregon, we have a particular product
> which
> has proven the most profitable so far for non-irrigated crops: forage
> oilseed.  This plant is in the mustard family, and a close cousin of the
> stuff they use to make canola oil:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola
> The bees love this stuff!  We were able to nurse back to health several
> flats of hives by just setting them in the fields, and they produced honey
> up the wazoo.
> This crop worked well for us in Oregon, but every beast loves it too: we
> had
> a hell of a time with spotted garden slugs; well actually every slug and
> snail known in that part of the world devoured it, along with furry beasts
> eating the plants.  The pesticides needed to fight the slugs and snails are
> copper based and getting more expensive every day.  Carbaryl methaldehyde
> based slug control is not only expensive but dangerous and personnel
> intensive, which is a big factor now since Oregon raised the minimum wage.
> The regulations for chemical herbicide and pesticide use grows every year.
> We know that ants will devour slugs if enough of them jump the slimy sons a
> bitches, but it takes several ants to defeat one slug.  The slugs secrete
> some kind of protective layer of goo such that the ant's mandibles are not
> long enough to bite through.
> So my notion is if we could make or breed ants with longer and meaner
> mandibles, they could take on the slugs and snails, really feast on their
> wretched asses, assuming slugs have asses.  It would also make those fields
> a most unpleasant place for the nutria and other mammal pests to out hang.
> The super-ants would only live a couple months, so they would control the
> pests, then die.  They don't reproduce, they don't require expensive and
> dangerous pesticides, no poisoning the topsoil with a buildup of heavy
> metals in soil that will be used for food crops, no hassles with the salmon
> people, no hassles with the rest of the boards that oversee chemical
> pesticide use.
> We could ring the fields with a protective border of winter rye, which is
> not particularly profitable but is relatively beast-free, so the ants
> wouldn't bother going out there, but would rather stay in the forage
> oilseed
> and hunt slugs.
> spike
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