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Name: Grace M Stephen
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Question:
Can ants be trained to go through a maze? How are leeches being used in modern medicine?



Replies:
Ants lay down chemical trails (using a compound not dissimilar to formic acid) between food sources and their nest. So if you set up a maze with some food, ants will appear to learn the maze over time, but they are actually just following chemical trails (which are strengthened by each ant that follows the route). I'm not certain that you could train ants to run mazes in the usual sense, but I wouldn't bet against it (I used to train fish).

Leeches are excellent at draining off excess fluid that may accumulate around healing wounds. In particular on the extremities, this fluid can build up and cause pressure that inhibits healing and the restoration of normal blood circulation. Thus leeches can be and are being used following such surgery.

Ethan Allen



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