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Tame-walk potion

Roaches under the influence lose the urge to scuttle on their own.

12:52pm, June 5, 2008

It’s a dog-walker’s dream, a dose that quashes the urge to dash around without guidance. Too bad it works just for cockroaches.

A new analysis in the June 24 Current Biology reveals how venom of the jewel wasp (Ampulex compressa) wields such power over roaches. Once stung, cockroaches become so biddable that the small wasp can grab an antenna and lead the roach to a wasp nesting site. A series of tests shows, though, that the venom isn’t just making the wasps generally dopy, decreasing their overall arousal, report Frédéric Libersat of the Mediterranean Institute of Neurobiology in Marseille, France, and

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