Bees can reverse ageing in their brains, new findings show.
Researchers at Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have found that when bees return to their nest to take care of their larvae, their brains rejuvenate.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the study tried to see what would happen if foraging bees returned to their nests once again to care for larvae.
The researchers removed younger bees from the nest and left the queen and babies before the foraging bees were re-introduced to the nest.
Some of the foraging bees remained after several days to care for the nest and larvae while others left to forage once again.
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It was discovered that about 50 percent of those bees who remained in the nest had significantly improved their ability to learn new things after just 10 days.
“We knew from previous research that when bees stay in the nest and take care of larvae – the bee babies – they remain mentally competent for as long as we observe them,” said lead author Gro Amdam of ASU’s School of Life Sciences, according to Zee News.
“However, after a period of nursing, bees fly out gathering food and begin aging very quickly. After just two weeks, foraging bees have worn wings, hairless bodies, and more importantly, lose brain function – basically measured as the ability to learn new things. "
The study group says that the increased brain function was the result of a change in proteins.
Researchers said that they may have found a protein that helps protect against dementia, according to the Christian Science Monitor, a breakthrough for dementia research that may one day increase our understanding of the disease and how the brain ages.
The study was published in the scientific journal Experimental Gerontology.