skip to main content

Science Nation: Leaf Cutter Ants

3 minutes

DCMP is transitioning to player-based accessibility features, allowing for customization of captions, description, language, and playback speed. Learn more about these features and how they can be beneficial in an educational setting.

Learn More

Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

Report a Problem

Leaf cutter ants could be called the overachievers of the insect world. They are farmers, medicine makers, and green energy producers. With support from the National Science Foundation, bacteriologist Cameron Currie studies the complex evolutionary relationships between the ants, the fungi they cultivate and eat, and the bacteria that influence this symbiosis. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Currie works with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center on campus to explore how the ants manage to degrade cellulose. Her goal is to discover new ways humans might break down biomass into biofuels. The bacteria component of the ant colony could also help scientists develop more effective antibiotics for human health and agriculture.

Media Details

Runtime: 3 minutes

Science Nation
Episode 1
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 2
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 3
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 4
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 5
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 7
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 8
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 9
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 10
4 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12