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Chemical communication lab

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Boston Medical Center

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  1. Results
  2. Chemicals with various values
  3. Ants behavioral threshold to undecane
  4. Behavioral responses
  5. Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

Table 1 shows each chemical with their respective ?l, density, molecular weight, and Q values. The ?l is the rate of droplet length change, and the Q value is the emission rate, in molecules per cubic centimeter per second. The densities and molecular weights were given in the lab book (DeLissio, 150). Tables 2 to 4 consist of information for each individual chemical we used with the ants. Further more, each ant subfamily and genus is taken into account, and the response time and K value was calculated for each one. The response time is simply the time it took for the ant(s) to respond to the given chemical, while the K value is the behavioral threshold, or density of molecules needed in order to elicit a response.

[...] A low and a low Q value would seem to be beneficial to the ant, since this would mean that a very low amount of the pheromone would be needed to elicit a response. Jointly, a high behavioral response with a short time that it takes to respond would also be beneficial, resulting in a clear line of communication. The ant pheromones seem to be genera-specific. While there are some correlations between the behavioral responses between those in the same sub- family, the similarities do not seem to be strong enough to yield a different conclusion. [...]

[...] In order to improve upon this study, I would do a few things differently. First, I would choose chemicals with greatly varying emission rates, showing their influence with greater clarity. Second, I would wait longer before introducing the different chemicals to the ants. The ants were introduced to many chemicals in a short time, probably resulting in skewed results. A greater time between this would allow them to forget about the prior chemical, and respond to the new one appropriately. [...]

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