Snippets of RNA control worker bee behaviour

Tiny snippets of genetic code called micro-RNAs are responsible for the highly scripted, age-dependent division of labour among worker honeybees.

The tasks that worker bees take on varies with age: young workers act as nurse bees, for instance, while only old workers will leave the hive to collect nectar and pollen. By compiling a thorough library of all the genetic material in the honeybee brain, scientists were able to identify the specific micro-RNA sequences which were responsible for switching these behaviours on and off.

Read more at Washington University in St. Louis