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Infectious Selflessness: How an Ant Colony Becomes a Social Immune System

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Ants work together to battle a deadly fungus by diluting the infection across the colony.

In the 2011 blockbuster thriller Contagion, a virus infects and kills 26 million people around the world. But even those who evade the virus are infected with something else: crippling fear. To contain the outbreak, the military imposes a quarantine. People stay indoors, refusing to interact with anyone outside their families. Touching anyone or anything becomes a risk, because the virus lingers everywhere.

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