Make-up for discussion on Oct. 27
The above article is about ants whose behaviors are changed by mushrooms.
These fungi will take over an ant's central nervous system, and control its behaviors to the mushroom's advantage. The fungus infects the ant's body, and forces it to travel to a suitable environment. Once it has arrived, absorbs the ant for nutrients.
What truly fascinates me about this is the mushroom's ability to control innate behaviors. A mushroom isn't self-aware, so how can it know how to manipulate other organisms in such a way? I wonder if it would be possible to change human behavior in a similar manner. Perhaps not to such an extreme, but enough to sift out unwanted behaviors, and introduce better ones. It would save us the trouble and time-consumption of conditioning, and if it were kept under control, it would not be dangerous. Would it pose ethical problems? Any thoughts?
Picture of infected ant: