Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scientists Use Bee Genes to Understand Behavior

From National Public Radio: Joe Palca's story on the honeybee genome, reporting on research published in Science and Nature:

"Now that scientists have determined the complete genetic sequence of the honeybee, researchers are probing some mysteries of the bee's existence, such as how a bee's genes control its behavior." Joe Palca talks with Kim Worley, Baylor College of Medicine, a leader in the Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium. Palco also interviewed consortium project co-leader Gene Robinson, along with his co-author Charles Whitfield, for an understanding of why scientisits are interestd in the genome sequence in honeybees. [More from NPR]

Read the research:
Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera.
The Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium. Nature 443: 931 - 949 (26 Oct 2006)

. Charles W. Whitfield, Anne-Marie Cziko, and Gene E. Robinson Science 302: 296-299 (10 October 2003)

Living on Earth, an independent media program carried on many NPR stations, offered a longer conversation between Jeff Young and Dr. Robinson during last week's show. Dr. Robinson discussed the relevance of understanding the complete honeybee genome for research aimed at strengthening bee populations. [Read the transcript or download the MP3 file]

Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA/ARS. From the Living of Earth Web site.

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