Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/28/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New study shows ant's can out-think search engines

Society has long touted the merits of the humble ant; a hard working, diligent and selfless creature that does its best for the colony. Scientists have already proved that the ant has the largest brain amongst insects, but a new study may show that these tiny bugs may be able to put computer processing power to shame.

A new, joint German and Chinese study suggests that ants may show intelligence that rivals internet search engines.

A new, joint German and Chinese study suggests that ants may show intelligence that rivals internet search engines.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/28/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: News, Science


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A team of researchers from Germany and China published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which explains that the collective foraging behaviors of ants exceed their individual problem-solving strategies. A hungry ant appears to travel along random path when looking for food, but that changes when they actually find food.

Join the war against world hunger.

"Ants have a nest so they need something like a strategy to bring home the food they find," wrote the study's lead author Lixiang Li from the Information Security Center, State Key Laboratory of Networking and Switching Technology, at Beijing University of Posts and Communications and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

"We argue that this is a factor, largely underestimated so far, that actually determines their behavior," he said.

According to Time's Bryan Walsh, when ants begin their search for food, hundreds set out in all directions in what can be described as looking like "drunks stumbling about the house in search of their keys." Once one of the ants discovers a food source, it takes a piece back to the colony, leaving behind a pheromone trail that leads to the source.

The trail will only last for a while and when it disappears, the ants once again exhibit the drunken behavior as they attempt to bring the food back to the nest, but as time passes, the ants will begin to organize their search. They will optimize the best and shortest path between the nest and the food source, as more ants follow the better paths they will leave behind additional pheromones-which will attract additional ants, which will helps to further organize the colony's efforts.

The colony goes from near-total chaos to a "self-reinforcing effect of efficiency," said the study's co-author Jurgen Kurths of the Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research. "While single ants can appear chaotic and random-like, they very quickly become an ordered line of ants crossing the woodland floor in search for food."

Previous research suggested that older worker ants were tasked with the most dangerous food collection tasks because the colony did not wish to risk the younger and more productive members of the colony. This new study suggests that they are actually chosen for the task because they have a better idea of the colony's surroundings.

"While the single ant is certainly not smart, the collective acts in a way that I'm tempted to call intelligent. The principle of self-organization is known from, for instance, fish swarms, but it is the homing which makes the ants so interesting," said Kurths.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Technology

Hydrogen-running car to be sold by Toyota Watch

Image of Mirai's compressed hydrogen gas will be stored in two tanks mounted underneath the vehicle. The cars emit no exhaust, although fossil fuels are used in the production of hydrogen and to pressurize it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Toyota, the world's largest auto manufacturer plans to begin selling the world's first hydrogen-powered car. The company only expects to sell 400 in Japan and 300 to the rest of the world immediately - but it's being recognized as the first emission-free made ... continue reading


BACK FROM THE DEAD? Scientific community rages on whether to clone Wooly Mammoth back to life Watch

Image of In order to bring the wooly mammoth back into the realm of the living, an elephant would have to act as a surrogate, carrying the mammoth for 22 months before giving birth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new attempt to bring the long-extinct wooly mammoth back to life through cloning is raging anew in the scientific community. South Korean scientists believe the Ice Age "Mammuthus" can be brought back to life using the DNA of an extremely well preserved ... continue reading


Fascinating photos beamed back from comet by Philae probe Watch

Image of The agency can't guarantee if Philae will once again be operational, but even if it does not the agency says it is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After landing on Comet 67P last week, high-resolution pictures have now been released taken by the Philae probe. Acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera on the Rosetta satellite, the dainty robot was dropped towards the surface of the "ice mountain" - although the ... continue reading


Prepare to be surprised as you enjoy these rare, colorized historic photos Watch

Image of A photograph of a Japanese samurai taken in 1881.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A thread on the popular social media website Reddit is taking the internet back in time, bringing famous and unusual photographs from history and colorizing them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These amazing photos show slices of life from the late 19th ... continue reading


UPDATED - So we've landed on a comet, what's the big deal? (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of The Rosetta probe will orbit comet 67/P and continue studying it as it approaches the sun.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today, a European Space Agency (ESA) probe will become the first man-made object to land on a comet. The washing machine-sized Philae lander will touch down on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. As the world follows the landing with bated breath, we cannot ... continue reading


U.S. strikes at 'Dark Net': Seizes $1 million and arrests 17 Watch

Image of During a joint operation between the U.S. and European countries, 400 websites, including Silk Road 2.0, that were trafficking illegal goods were shut down. Also seized were about $1 million in bitcoins.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over 400 hidden internet sites, including the infamous drug selling and trading website Silk Road 2.0, have been shut down in a joint operation between the United States and 16 European nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These sites are charged with being ... continue reading


DANGER, DANGER Will Robinson: Amazon 'Echo' will soon be in every home, analyst says Watch

Image of Critics say

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Internet marketplace leader Amazon announced the introduction of their new gadget Echo last week. Naysayers were quick to dismiss it along the lines of Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana. Columnist Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld disagrees, predicting ... continue reading


Building a better potato: Genetically Modified 'Zombie' Potatoes Watch

Image of Developed by the J. R. Simplot Company, a privately held company based in Boise, Idaho, the company was the first supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald's in the 1960s. Simplot the founder, who died in 2008, became a billionaire.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Acrylamide, which is suspected of being a cancer-causing agent, is produced whenever potatoes are fried. Now, agricultural researchers have perfected a new version of the potato with DNA that has been altered to minimize the agent. The Food and Drug ... continue reading


Big losses for Amazon in the Stock Market Watch

Image of Amazon sales are down, and some worry the company will not meet its goals for the 2014 Holiday shopping season.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American retail giant Amazon has revealed some shocking financial news, that it has lost nearly $500 million in the past three months. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amazon's shares dropped by 11% in after-hours trading, which took more than $15 billion off the ... continue reading


So, the Apple haters were wrong again - take a bite of this! Watch

Image of Apple has seen growth in the sales of its iPhones and Macs from this time in 2013, while sales of tablets have shrunk in the same time frame.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tech giant Apple has sold 39.3 million iPhones over the past quarter, which includes sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which were released in the United States on September 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sales of the iPhone rose past most expectations, ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter