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Are the European Paper Wasps Really Altruistic?

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Pune, August 12, 2011: The European paper wasps, Polistes dominulus, build their nests, where usually a dominant female - the queen - lays the eggs, and several subordinate females do the job of nursing the brood. The behavior of the subordinate females, who are themselves capable of raising their own brood, but instead choose to help raise the brood of another female, has been considered altruistic. A recent study by Dr. Ellouise Leadbeater and other researchers from the University of Sussex, University of Sheffield and the University College London, shows that this apparent 'altruistic' behavior is actually an act in 'self-interest'. The researchers published their findings in a paper* in the latest issue of Science. Following is reproduced from the Public release dated August 12, 2011 by EurekAlert.

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Workshop for Punjab Progressive Beekeepers at PAU

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Chennai, July 9, 2011 (from PAU Press Note sent by Dr. Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja): A 1-day State Level Workshop of Progressive Beekeepers of Punjab was organized by the Directorate of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (PAU), at PAU's Kairon Kisan Ghar on July 6, 2011.

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Bee Pathology Training for Progressive Beekeepers Held at PAU

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Chennai, July 9, 2011 (by Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja): A two-day 'Advance Training Course on Bee Diseases and Enemies and Their Management' was organized by the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana (PAU), on June 29-30, 2011, for progressive beekeepers of the State. The course was attended by 27 beekeepers from across Punjab.PAU Bee Pathology training valedictory function on June 30, 2011

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BeeSpace Navigator - a New Free Online Software to Search for Gene Information

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Chennai, June 27, 2011: A team of University of Illinois researchers developed a new free online software that helps genetic biologists to get information on gene function, etc., from the available scientific literature. Summarizing the utility of this new navigation tool the researchers say: "With the rapid decrease in cost of genome sequencing, the classification of gene function is becoming a primary problem. Such classification has been performed by human curators who read biological literature to extract evidence. BeeSpace Navigator is a prototype software for exploratory analysis of gene function using biological literature." Detailed information on the BeeSpace Navigator is published* in the journal Nucleic Acid Research.

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Honey Bees May Have Emotions - Newcastle University Study

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Chennai, June 19, 2011: Animals other than humans cannot report how they feel; therefore 'their emotional state can only be inferred using physiological, cognitive, and behavioral measures', say researchers at the Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. They sought out recently to find out whether invertebrates like honey bees, whose cognitive biases have not been studied, exhibit such biases.Apis mellifera in a hive In a paper* published online on June 2, 2011 in the journal Current Biology, they showed for the first time that 'agitated honeybees display an increased expectation of bad outcomes; hemolymph levels of dopamine, octopamine, and serotonin are reduced in agitated bees, and honeybees exhibit a vertebrate-like emotional state'.

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