ANT ATTACK & ECHIDNA (GRAPHIC Content) with Andrew Ucles

ANT ATTACK & ECHIDNA (GRAPHIC Content) with Andrew Ucles


[music with drums]

Continue… Production details>>
UCLES [music with drums] Continues…. Yeah
Jedge yeah
Judge yeah
Judge a All right We’re out here in Australia On the Australian landscape JUdge a all right here a Strap on Strap on the Australian landscape, and We are looking for echidnas also known as the Australia echidnas now these guys here are a small solitary mammal thats’s what we covered in Slacks they’re not venomous be little bit of a prick to catch Yeah its funny because you look at this land scaping well they must be a like a thousand and one places to hide and there literally is but there is a bit of a technique in finding them all it takes is a little bit of intelligence hectates in sixe population numbers in areas rich in dietary sources Territorial but there home ranges often Defined the ant nests now regardless Mission to try and find one try walking around in note the diggings on the ant-man having Target speces if you understand awesome Over 60,000 and in just the one nest and in just 10 minutes of concentrating the killer consumed over 200grams of pure protein by theway he also has to enjoy the rrelentless but but i’ll get to this a little bit later and as the max the kingdom was lined uo the mother mother of monsters in Greek mythology as it was believed to about the tributes of reptiles and mammals so they get good and the mammals so they get good good and mammals so they get good good so good so long all right now just got here is a famous trying to get not yeah for now all right now this is pretty typical i dont have small one you say exactly what he’s doing and is a defense stratgy that you can i will do so soon as i come across a prduct will fox i could be it could be a think i could a dog colud galinha thus is excactly what i’ll start to dig now if you’re going in your backyard easiest way to get one here is like this ready- I up so i you thinking down with his front paws will like this i’ll get my hands down here and start didding I’M trying my hand and that andthat and that come on i dont comin and i flip and under such a soft underneath dont ask me to do this and ready 321 like being cake you ready 321 likebeing cake you are now the echindna right get this now this guy he is a moderate rain you figured what size i like the top of my back or something but now i am on the train is an egg-laying mammal Just like that Platypus the we have here in Australia as well I;Ve there sounds like killing it has been pretty hot tonigh so these egg-laying Mammals right generally what happens is the females oh and covered in stuff is the females a month after mating wwll actually deposit an egg into their patch like a livey leg one and what will happen is 10 days later it’ll hatch if you think of the word pretty quick right but then what wll happen is over the course of about fifty days the yound ones would be suckling from milk pause in patch yeah doesn’t everything now 50 days comes and then guess what she kicks the map and she diggz – she diggz a whole she’s like i have been in whole or worn at your place the younf and then the young ones who stay there from the seven months where you located watch over and if weighing them as well isn’t that right now i’m actually going to be putting putting myself idea you say the kids and got a very long stickly toungue it come with a big advantage when they are fading you know i can go for things like ants and termites which consists largely of their diet but probably thinking how would it be to get DR.Martin it because ican leaving some pretty hard places to get so today i’m going to be seen whats asticky situation i’m goingto get myself into whats a sticky situation i’m going to get myself into so going to get myself into so ar for our try to stick it out for 10 minutes on a ness to give me some sense of an idea of what feeding time is actually a lot for the kidnap with some more place he bar i was ready to take on the challenge i was ready to take on the challenge up ah ahhh ahh ah hhahh ahhhhhhh lots of paaain ouaaahhhhhhh ahhh ahhhh running wildly jumps into water splassshhhh short aahhhh *the ants in the pants* wahahahehehe *blurbs incoherently in content

HANDS get DESTROYED by Fire Ants!

HANDS get DESTROYED by Fire Ants!


– That’s just in case
anybody is wondering, a bottle of Coyote’s urine. – Yeah, but that’s my
own pee, so it’s okay. It’s okay if it’s your own pee. – No, it’s not. ♪ Fire ♪ ♪ A fire on the mountain ♪ – What’s going on, Coyote Pack? And welcome back to Base Camp, the not exactly adventurous
show, that we film here from our office in
Westerville, Ohio, where we dissect old videos and tell you exactly
how we made ’em. How are you guys feeling today? – I’m feeling great. Sunny day in the neighborhood, we got a good day
here in Columbus. Mario, how you feeling
about the sunshine? You’re used to it in Florida, but this is new for us.
– Yeah. – Today’s a great day
to be here in Base Camp, talking about adventures. – May not be an
outside adventure, but the inside adventures
can be just as fun and we have an awesome episode
planned for you guys today. But before we get into that, the Base Camp set is
really coming along and that’s because of you
guys out there watching. We asked you to send
in fan mail and boy, did you guys send in fan mail, didn’t they, Mark?
– Yeah, oh my goodness. So we got a call from the
post office the other day and they alerted us to the fact, that we are flooding
their mail rooms with all kinds of art
from around the world, so we did need to tell you
guys, keep up the good work. – Yes, the more fan
mail, the better and specifically artwork. Now today, we’re featuring
a letter from Kit Libby, now Kit, I did read your letter, you even wrote in
here, that you’re like, “You probably won’t
have time to read it,” I read all of the fan mail,
guys, believe it or not. But Kit also sent along
these amazing pictures, check that out.
– Wow, Kit is quite the artist.
– It’s a rat, – Whoa!
– it’s a cockroach, green tree frog, she’s even
got my favorite in here, the snapping turtle.
– Nice. – Clearly watches the videos, but I really wanted to focus on the Monarch butterfly,
– Nice. – which is Kit’s favorite
animal and Kit asked if we could do an episode
on Monarch butterflies. What do you guys think? – I think it’s a great idea. Mario, where should we do that? – We could go find
the migration routes of the Monarch butterflies.
– Hm-mm, yeah. – That would be pretty epic. Now, I don’t know when
we’ll get to do that, but we will put it
on the episode list. We’ve never done a
butterfly episode before, so I think it’d great
thing to feature. – Absolutely. – And the good news for me
is they don’t bite or sting. Alright, give me
those pictures back. – Hang on, I thought
we get to keep these. – Well you can have
them after the episode. I don’t want you to wrinkle
it during the taping. – You promise?
– I promise. – You heard that. – I know you, you’ll
put that in your pocket and you’ll wrinkle it up, we don’t wanna
wrinkle the artwork. Alright, guys, keep
sending in that artwork, we will keep featuring
different Coyote Pack members every week, sharing their art and encouraging you
guys to get artistic, when you’re not watching videos. So if you guys are ready, let’s plunge our hands into
a burning ring of fire ants. – Here we go.
– Oh! – [Coyote] You can see,
I’m already nervous, right from the beginning. I’m Coyote Peterson. This is a mountain of fire ants. Yes it is.
– Oh yeah. – I think we all know
where this is going. – [Mark] And there’s
your hands, pre-scars. – Well enough people had seen the harvester ant
video at this point to know that like,
oh, hands, ant mound, here we go.
Holy cow, that’s a lot of stings already! Argh! – Oh, Eeh.
– Hm-mm. – [Mark] This is already
bringing me back, man. – Oh yeah.
– what a bad idea this was. – Yeah, I warned ya.
– You did. – [Coyote] A lot of
people learned about
fire ants that day. – [Mark] We’re gonna talk
about that in a second, Mario. – [Mario] Yeah. – [Mark] Hold that right there. – Alright guys, so
when I was in Arizona, you saw me put my hands into
a mound of harvester ants. – [Mark] Not smart, not
something you wanna be doing. – I lasted 60 seconds. What’s funny is that
this is so far before a lot of these other
more painful stings, so you gotta keep in mind, that as we’re filming
the fire ants, like the bullet ant was so far
down the road at that point, like.
– Yeah. – We had not even really
seriously considered doing that. – No.
I’m sure that you’re looking at this pile of dirt,
thinking to yourselves, is that really an anthill?
– That’s interesting, – Yeah.
– so, these ant mounds are
all over in Florida. Mario, why don’t you tell
us a little bit about these. – Yeah, so fire ants are an
introduced species to the US and if you grow up in Florida,
you see one of those mounds, you know there’s trouble, okay? – Hm-mm.
– Hm-mm. – So they’re somewhat
inconspicuous, if you don’t know
what to look for. – Right.
– it just looks like a pile of sand.
– Yeah. – There’s no ants
on the outside. – Someone from Ohio, like these two guys,
– You guys. – we are walking
around sometimes in our sandals or bare
feet and we’re like, ooh, there’s some sand.
– I’m like no watch it. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – and you don’t know, ’cause there really aren’t
many ants around the mounds. – Sure, yeah, it’s
very deceiving, but
as you’re gonna see, once you pop a little hole, – [Coyote] Let’s see that, I
think it’s actually coming up. I promise you
there are thousands of these fiery little
ants beneath the surface. – [Mark] And are
there thousands. Mario, do you know about how
many ants live in a colony? – [Mario] Thousands. – [Coyote] Hundreds of
thousands, probably. – [Mario] Hundreds of thousands, yeah,
– Yeah. – [Coyote] ‘Cause it goes
deeper down in the ground too. Most people don’t realize, that just because we
disturbed that ant mound, they build those
mounds so quickly, that mound probably
would’ve been rebuilt by the next day.
– Absolutely, and once again, they are
invasive species, too. – [Mark] I imagine the
rain does a number. – [Coyote] Oh, yeah,
every time it rains, they probably flood out. Yeah, you have to imagine
that if you’re down in Florida and you’re on
vacation and thinking, “Oh, I’m gonna just
go out somewhere “and have a little picnic,” and you think to yourself, “Oh, look, this mound
is kind of sandy, “this might actually make
a good place to sit,” whoa, bad idea, these were
cool macro shots though, I mean, it’s tough
to really tell how small these creatures are, until you get, like, okay,
– Yeah, there you go. – There you go right there,
– let me get in a little bit, so you get a clear shot.
– that’s a great example. Like it was really hard to
hold on to one of these ants without, you know, not
wanting to injure them or anything like
that and you can see, if you would align these
things up vertically on the fingernail of a human, you could probably
pack five to eight ants on a single finger,
which is crazy. – Yeah, I’ll tell you what is
particularly impressive to me about fire ants, not only
what they did to you, but also the fact that
they’re able to sting, like they can actually
get through human skin, being so small. Mario, how is that
even possible? – Sure, well, they do
have a long stinger and you know, to Coyote’s
point, they’re small, but it’s numbers
that count, right? So unlike the harvester
ants, which are large and intimidating looking,
these guys are tiny – Hm-mm.
– and individually, you’re like, oh, that’s
not gonna do much harm, but they come at
you with a swarm. – Yeah.
– Yeah, with a force of swarm,
that’s like a tidal wave of fire and insanity
and dragons and chaos. Let’s keep rolling the video. – Oh no, Mario, I’ve
been stung by one or two and it’s still pretty bad.
– Yeah, it’ll still get ya. – [Mario] Yeah. – Now before I actually
go through with this. Here’s my arbitrary what
have become well known, selfie GoPro shots,
building suspense just before we get to it and I think we were just
learning at this point how to start to build that
suspense in these episodes to make the audience feel like, “Okay, we’re building
to that moment.” – Right. – And you can see here
might have that view and call that of what I learned, so back that up
just a touch there. Look at, yeah, look at, what I learned from
the harvester ants was tuck your pant
legs into your boots, roll up your sleeves tight, so that the ants can’t
get in your pants. – But you didn’t
learn your lesson about getting stung by ants. – Well no, but for the purpose
of the science experiment, I had to go through
with it, it was just let’s be a little more
intelligent about it this time around, trust me,
guys, fire ants in your pants would have been the
worst thing ever. – Ooh, for sure. – [Coyote] And
anyone who is stung. This not only
causes searing pain, but also causes the
sting zones to swell. – [Mark] Ooh, takes me back. This was just not smart. I was warning Coyote,
– Yeah, science at its finest. – Let’s talk about that,
– Okay. – real quick, so you know, here’s a little backstory,
that I think is important that everyone in the
Coyote Pack knows about, so Coyote–
– we, wait, we should call this
like Responsible Corner with Mark and Mario,
(laughing) where you guys talk about, Coyote’s like, I’m gonna
do this for science and you guys are like, “Let’s
talk about this responsibly,” – Yeah.
– Yeah. – so listen to these
two for a second. – Right, so everyone thinks
that maybe it’s Mario and I putting you up to these things, we actually ask him not to
do ’em, as a matter of fact, but in this circumstance,
it’s really interesting, because you don’t get
mosquito bite welts, so therefore I think you thought maybe you had some sort
of magical immunity to ant stings or
venom in general and I remember Mario
warning you, saying “Coyote, I’ve seen what happens, “when people get
swarmed by fire ants “and it is not
pretty, don’t do it,” and what did you say? – I said, I’m the ant man, didn’t you see the
harvester ant episode? I’m probably immune
to fire ant stings, yeah, they may sting me,
but nothing’s gonna happen, those little white pustular
things you were talking about, not me, buddy, don’t
get mosquito bite welts, don’t get bitten by deer flies,
horse flies, you name it, usually good to go, fire ants,
they’re tiny, not a problem. – Yeah, that’s right,
he was very confident and I kept giving
him the warnings, like dude, if you go
through with this, it’s not gonna be pretty.
– Mm, mm. – He insisted and well,
we’re gonna see the results. – Yeah, and not pretty is
an understatement, guys, just so you know. And boy, am I about to
get my fair share of them. You build yourself
up for these moments and then you–
– Oh, old GoPro. – [Coyote] Hm-mm, I think
that’s the Hero three, which was still encapsulated
inside of a plastic container, so we had to use your
camera to capture the audio, that was coming from this shot. – [Mark] Yeah, now you just
go do that by yourself, while Mario and I hang out. – Well, the Hero six
captures amazing audio. Don’t wanna go into
anaphylactic shock or anything, I did okay with the
harvester ants, so. – Pause it real quick.
– Okay. – So of course,
harvester ant venom and fire ant venom,
completely different. – Yep.
– Right? – Hm-mm. – And there’s a special
property in the fire ant venom, that’s gonna actually
give you some of those – Right,
– things, that you had. – So the harvester ants
that were just a swelling, whereas the fire ants were
going to attack my body completely differently. – Yeah, and we’re gonna see.
– Hm-mm. Alright, here we
go, are you ready? – [Mark] Alright,
go get in position, I’ll be there in a second.
– Alright, man. – [Coyote] Never under
any circumstances try to replicate what
you are about to witness. See, there’s a responsible
warning from me right there. – [Mark] Yeah,
don’t do this, guys. That’s a big one.
– Yeah, that’s a big mound. I’m about to enter
the strike zone with the fire ant,
are you guys ready? – Strike zone?
– It should have been the sting zone, I don’t know
what I was thinking there. – [Mario] I remember I told you, dude, why don’t
you put the GoPro in the mound itself.
– Hm-mm, yeah. – [Mark] Yeah,
look at it go boom. – Holy cow.
– Look at ’em swarming! – Let’s see that one
more time actually, I wanna go back to that. Look at the ant counter,
’cause we start the counter as soon as the GoPro
gets in position. – Right. – Look how quickly
the ants are on you. – [Mario] Yeah. – Boom,
– Fire ants, you’re– – three seconds,
boom, you’re covered. – Yeah, they’re voracious,
– Ow, ow, ow! – [Mario] way faster
than the harvester ants. – Much faster
– Yeah. – [Coyote] and they look
for soft spots in your skin, I feel like they can sense
in between the fingers was definitely the worst.
– Yep. – Guys, feel your skin in between your
fingers is much softer. Argh! At that point, I was like, man, we’ve only gone 20
seconds into this, I’ve gotta get my
hands out of here and I failed, I couldn’t
get it to 60 seconds, I mean, maybe I could have, but I could feel how bad
it was already getting. – I remember you going into
this being very confident, – Yeah, yeah.
– I think you did even mention at one point,
like, “Is 60 seconds enough? “Maybe I should do
like two minutes.” – He did say that.
– Yeah. – Well I thought
it was smaller ants and to one up the
harvester ants, ’cause harvester ants, I
did make it to 60 seconds and I was thinking, well,
everybody watching at home will be like, “Oh, come on, go
two minutes with fire ants.” Woo,
– Yeah. – Good thing I didn’t do that. – Deceiving, right,
’cause of the size? – Yeah. – [Mark] You alright? Made it 40 seconds, hey,
still very respectable. – Yeah.
– very respectable. – A lot of pain, oh,
oh, they’re still on me. Argh, my hands are
on fire right now. It was an interesting feeling. – So tell me some initial
thoughts right here, are you able to really
concentrate on the pain? Are you trying to not
concentrate on the pain? – I guess the
squeezing of my fists was more like just trying to contain and absorb
the pain in one spot, it was coming on like a
searing, that was building, so it was almost like imagine
putting your hands on a stove and turning them on and
as it begins to heat up, it’s getting more and
more and more painful as the onset takes hold. – Yeah.
– I know that feeling, I’ve been bit. – When a mound of fire
ants is disturbed, thousands of them instantly
swarm the invader. Man, if you were an
unsuspecting like lizard or frog or something like that, that has stumbled upon
a mound like this, you can see how
– Yeah. – it could kill an
animal very quickly. – Well, remember during
one of our croc segments, I told you fire ants actually
prey upon hatchlings, – Right.
– so they do kill – Hm-mm.
– large organisms. – Hm-mm. My pain tolerance
finally gave out as my brain was screaming, get your hands out
of that ant mound. I love these shots,
where the ants continue to go over the
lens of the GoPro, we sort of learned that through
the harvester ant episode, we were like, oh, we’ve
gotta get more GoPro shots of the ants moving
over the lens. – Now look, you can
kind of see here, – Yeah.
– You can see the welts forming, and I believe you thought
you were out of the woods, you were like, “That’s it?” – I was like, okay,
respect, fire ants, I have some respect, now
I at least have welts, this is more than a
mosquito’s ever done – Yeah.
– to me, and I was pretty much out
of the woods at this point. – Well, I told you that
the worst is yet to come. – Yeah. Let’s see what happens. It’s actually not too
bad at this point. Not too bad.
– At this point, this is like about
five minutes after having my hands in there,
so we cut for a second, you know, reset to get framed
up, get this outro shot. Now if you wanna know the
answer of which is worse, the harvester ants
or the fire ants. See, so this was
a good comparison. – [Mark] Yeah,
that’s a good shot. Look at the size difference,
– Hm-mm. – [Mark] it’s dramatic. – [Coyote] But
obviously the swarm was more impressive
with the fire ants. – Right.
– Right. – [Coyote] This is much
worse than harvester ants, argh! (laughing) Argh!
– It’s still good, see. – That’s my sasquatch
right there. – I think we may have
overdone it with the slo-mos. – No, it’s funny.
– You like it? – Yeah.
– I don’t know. – I don’t know, you guys tell
us, do you like the slo-mos? We haven’t used them in a while, but I thought they
were funny back then. – It cracks me up, I love ’em. – At the end of the day, the lesson that we’re
all taking away from this is that if you’re out in
nature and you’re exploring, always do your best to avoid
any and all ant mounds. – True statement.
– Look how happy you look right there. – [Coyote] Well, you know, I
seemed a little more jovial at this point, than I
probably should have been considering what is about
to happen to my hands. And for over a week, I
suffered through incredible– – Here it goes.
– Here it comes. – [Coyote] So that was a
little ways before we started– – There it is.
– Ooh! – There you go,
– look at that. – that’s the next morning. – So? – I was hideous, Mark, hideous. – Oh, I remember, I mean, I
have it burned into my memory, that morning, we went to
go get you for breakfast, Coyote, are you
ready for breakfast? The room was all dark
– Yeah. – and you’re like,
“Guys, I can’t,” and we’re like, why not? “My hands, look,” and this was what
you were covered in and we were like,
oh, my goodness. – I mean, it was
gross, I looked like I had contracted some
sort of crazy disease, I had to wear gloves
for six weeks, before the pustulates went away. Now, pause it for a second,
before we get to this next part, pause it, Mario, why do these
things form into putulates, what’s the science behind this? – Yeah, it’s a good question, you certainly didn’t get those from the harvester ant, right? So the venom of the fire ants
is actually not water soluble, so it doesn’t dissolve easily
throughout your system, so it actually stays at
the surface of your skin and creates those
little putulates, which as you realized
are very itchy and if you pop ’em, will
actually cause scarring. – Now I did pop some
of these putulates from just scratching, it
was so incredibly itchy and what I didn’t realize is
that they were gonna leave pock marks in my hands, which
then in turn became scars, which at this point are gone, I don’t have scars from
the fire ants anymore, but wow guys, it was
quite the aftermath. – And this was in the
summer, so you were wearing long-sleeved shirts
for weeks after this, I remember we would
go to the store and you’d go to
pay for something and you would roll
your sleeve up all over the tips
of your fingers, you were like, “Here you go,” – Yeah.
– and it was super weird, I remember I was like,
why are you doing this? And you would show people why. – Well, occasionally somebody,
like the grocery store, I’d go to buy a carton of milk and I’d give them my debit card and they’re like, “Oh, what
is, oh, what’s on your hand?” and I would be like,
hold on, let me explain and then I’d be like blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, I do these bite and
sting things on YouTube and some people would be like, “Oh my gosh, you’re that guy!” I mean, this was real early, before we even had a million
subscribers on the channel, but they would be like, “Oh, I
guess that makes sense, ugh!” Like still, people
think it’s contageous, it’s not contagious, if
you’re stung by fire ants, you can’t like rub it on your
friend and be like, ha ha, now you’re gonna
have pustulates, it
doesn’t work like that, but they are very embarrassing. – Yeah. – The pustulates were
not the only gross thing about this video, you had
another trick up your sleeve or I should say
in your backpack, – That’s right.
– which was. – [Coyote] Do you know
the simplest remedy for neutralizing ant
stings in the field? If not, make sure
to click Watch Next. – Oh man.
– That’s, just in case anybody
is wondering, a bottle of Coyote’s urine. – Yeah, but that’s my
own pee, so it’s okay, it’s okay if it’s your own pee. – No, it’s not.
– Why not? – Gross.
– No. – Guys, that is gross, okay. – Well, there is
some science to this, is there not,
wildlife biologist? – As gross as it
seems and it is gross, there is some science to it,
urine and vinegar, for example, help neutralize
venoms and stings. – Vinegar, why did
you not bring vinegar? – There’s nothing
entertaining about vinegar, people want to see pee
being dumped on your hand. – Is that what you
guys wanna see? – I figured it would
work and this episode, the aftermath became
extremely successful, I mean, you had that
great thumbnail, that said 100% Pee
and gazillions of
people clicked on it. – Yeah, but are you
encouraging people to do that? – Well, in a worst
case scenario, if you stumble upon a fire
mound and you get stung, the best thing to do is
pee on it and in honesty, it did neutralize a lot of
the pain right from the start. Now here’s the backstory
on the pee, right, I did read about this
and that morning, I drank a bunch of
orange juice, right, so it was highly acidic
– Ugh! – and I could also make my pee a really nice, perfect,
pee yellow color, so it was hot pee
going into the bottle, then I put it in my backpack and walked around the
Everglades all day, so it heated up even more, so it was hot pee going
in, hot pee coming out and trust me, you
could smell it, couldn’t you, Mark?
– Oh, yeah. You know, in all actuality, I thought you were pulling
our leg on this one, I thought you had filled
up a water bottle, put a little bit of food
coloring, you’re like, “Oh guys, I’m gonna
pour pee on my arms,” so I made you open it,
– Yeah. – and I could smell
it immediately. – Well, I thought
it was apple juice and I was about to drink it. – That sounds like a
you problem, buddy. But let’s put it this way,
for me, it was a Godsend, because it immediately
neutralized all the burning in my hands,
but did it stop the pustulates? Not so much, so basically
I got two hands full of pee and no real, ultimate payoff.
– Yeah. – And you got to ride back
in the trunk of the truck. – Right, yeah,
– Yeah, I did. – he was not allowed to
ride up front with us. So I’ve been counting
and I believe there are three main
takeaways from this video, number one, apparently pee can neutralize the sting
of fire ants, gross, number two, look out for those
sand mounds in Florida, guys, those aren’t sand,
those are fire ants and number three,
Coyote Peterson is not immune to insect venom, right?
– Right. – Are you willing
to admit that now? – I still get pustulates
from fire ant stings, as will you.
(laughing) – And can I add in number four? – Sure. – I told you so.
– Ohh! – In all fairness, he’s right, anyone that’s stung by fire
ants will get pustulates, but what this little
science experiment did was educate a lot of people,
in fact, millions of people about what to look for
in the environment, when it comes to
avoiding fire ants and of course, if you’re stung, what to do to help
prevent some of that pain, what it also did for
us was begin to tee up the next rungs of the
insect sting pain index. Now, believe it or
not, the fire ant, for a small and mighty as it is, only ranks at about
a two on the scale, so that means we got
a long way to go, before we ultimately
hit the bullet ant. But the Coyote Pack
was cheering us on and they said, “Well, Coyote,
how about the cow killer?” Sure enough, that’s kind
of what came up next, but we won’t talk about
that in this episode, instead we’ll just
encourage you guys not to pee on each other, okay, it’s probably a good,
after school message or something like
that, isn’t it? – Sure. (laughs)
– Don’t, don’t. – Unless of course,
you’re stung by fire ants, right, maybe?
– Oh! – What if you
didn’t have to pee, would you have
allowed Mark to do it? – Let’s just wrap this up.
– That’s what I’m saying, – It’s time to end this one. – Let’s just go to the
outro at this point. I’m Coyote Peterson. – I’m Mark Laivins. – I’m Mario Aldecoa. – Be brave, – Stay wild.
– Stay wild. – We’ll see ya on the
next Base Camp adventure. – I gotta go pee. – You didn’t pee on yourself
on the other stings, did you? – I peed on myself
earlier by accident. Plunging my hands
into a burning ring of fire ants was
a horrible idea, but a good idea would be going
back to watch this episode, so you can see what happens, when I was swarmed by the
colony and stung over 300 times and don’t forget,
subscribe so you can join me and the crew on our
next big adventure. (light jungle music)

Flesh Ripping Ants?

Flesh Ripping Ants?


– I’m Coyote Peterson. Recently, I ran into a
species of ant with a bite so powerful, it’s capable of
breaking through human skin. If you don’t believe
me? Watch this. One (phew) Two, three Ouch (grunts) Ah. Ah! Yep, that might break it
through the skin there. Oh, like little razor blades. Ah! Yeah, he’s popping
holes into my finger. Ahhh! Oh, yeah, that hurts. He’s got me good right there. Ahhhhhh! Oww! Look he’s
banged his head in my finger. Argh! Ah! Ahhh! Ah ah ah Ooh! Yikes! Yeah, that hurt. (panicky wilderness music) – [Voiceover] All
right, Coyote, yikes. That leaf-cutter ant. That was something, but what
people at home might not know, is that was actually
not the first time you were bitten by
that ant, was it? – No, no it was not. Now when we arrived
at Costa Rico, we were told by all the locals
that when you’re out there looking for creatures,
whatever you do, make sure to avoid
leaf-cutter ants. I said to myself,
leaf-cutter ants? I didn’t even know you
had leaf-cutter ants. Do they bite? Sting? They
said, “No, no, no, no. They don’t sting.
They only bite. The bite is so powerful, it
can break through human skin.” Knowing me, first
thing I think is, “I gotta see if this
is really true.” So as we’re out there
walking through rain forests, we finally came across
a track of leaf-cutters. Found some workers,
found some soldiers. Mark said, “Okay,
here’s the ants. Let’s catch one, and
let’s do the scene.” So I picked up an
ant. You guys ready? – [Mark] I’m ready. Wait, wait. Where are you
gonna let him bite you? – Right there in
the crux of my hand. Hold up my hand like
this, put it right there, and let it start chomping,
and it’s chomping, and it’s chomping, but
it’s not breaking skin. Even with all that
power and that pinch… Ouch! That really, really hurts. I don’t think he’s gonna
be able to break skin. We’re thinking, okay.
It’s just a myth. Leaf-cutter ants can’t really
cut through human skin. Ah, there we go. – How’s that feel?
– [Coyote] Wow! Ah! Feels good to have
it off of my hand. Well, there ya go. Finally. An ant challenge where I’m
walking away mostly unscathed. Well, as we’re heading
back to our base camp, we come upon the nest. All right, well we
have found the nest. Watch your feet. Look at how many of
these monster-sized leaf-cutters are coming out. They are sending out
the troops right now. What you didn’t see
is me wandering into
the nest at first. Me, I’m like, holy cow,
these ants are everywhere. And just for fun, I
pick up another ant, put it on my finger, and boom! Immediately, it cuts
through the skin. Those things are monster! Ow! Ooh, yeah.
Ow! Bite me there. Oh, geez! Ah! Ah! Ah! That one definitely popped
right through the skin. Look at that. Holy cow. Fortunately, you’re
looking at it here. This is me holding up my finger, and you can see all
the blood running down. Now you didn’t see
this in the episode because we weren’t
ready to actually shoot the scene a second time. I didn’t think he was
gonna bite me that hard. The one that we were working
with through the scene didn’t. Break skin. Ah, an angry one is definitely
capable of breaking skin. What should we do? Should
we shoot that again? – [Mark] Think we have to. – Like right here. – [Mark] Yeah. Sigh. – Hehe. So, like a good director, Mark
says, “Cut, cut, cut, cut. Back to one. We gotta
shoot this scene again.” Now at this point,
I’m pretty nervous, because I’m thinking
to myself, oh, boy. That ant just massacred my
finger in one single chomp. Now he want to actually
put an ant on my finger, and let it do its thing. So, what you did see
is Mark, Mario, and I heading back into the nest, and this is where all the
ants were swarming out. Mark’s getting bitten.
Mario’s getting bitten. And finally, I get a
large, angry soldier. Come back into the
scene, sit down, put up my finger, and
place the ant right there, and it was painful. Now, I did last more
than 60 seconds, and I had to last
more than 60 seconds so that we could
get all the shots. Shooting these episodes
is pretty tough because there’s
multiple cameras going, and we have to make sure
we get the cool shots so that you guys can
enjoy the episode. In total, I was really chomped
by this leaf-cutter ant for probably about two
and a half minutes. Now that also includes,
once the video camera stopped rolling, and we
get out the still cameras to get that cool shot, you know
that’s the screen grab there on the YouTube video of
me like this, “Ahhhhhhh!” of an ant on my finger. A lot of pain to go through
just to get that single frame, but it was totally worth it because ultimately we
proved a myth to be true. The leaf-cutter ant is capable of chomping through human skin. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave. Stay wild. We’ll see ya next week. – Whoa whoa whoa. What
about the million subs? – Oh, yes! Sorry. I get so excited
about those ants. Coyota pack, we have made it to a million subscribers
on YouTube. How cool is that? ♪ Oh, yes ♪ Oh, yes ♪ Oh, yes ♪ Yes, yes, yes ♪ Now, on behalf of
myself and the entire B rave Wilderness team, I
just want to take a moment to thank each and
every one of you out there who’s
watching all our shows. We couldn’t do this without you. It’s you guys that keep
us out here in the field making these awesome adventures, and getting ya up
close with animals, whether it’s Breaking
Trail, Dragon Tails, Coyote’s Backyard
or a new series that’s about to come out
this summer, Beyond the Tide. Stay tuned for that. We couldn’t do it without
each and every one of you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being
such an awesome member of the Coyote Pack. All right. That’s it for me. We’ll see you guys next week. If you enjoyed this
behind-the-scenes look, make sure to go back and
watch the full ant attack, and don’t forget, subscribe
to join me and the crew on this season of
“Breaking Trail.” Oww! Ahh! (loud rumble) (coyote howling)

ANT ATTACK!

ANT ATTACK!


– I’m Coyote Peterson. This morning, we’re
gonna answer the question do ants bites or do they sting? And I’m about to
find out first hand. (yelling and groaning in pain) (dramatic music) The southwestern United States has a reputation of
being rough and rugged. It’s cowboy country, and in many people’s minds, it is laced with
dangerous reptiles and dream haunting arachnids. When it comes to
Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, a fair share of
this lore is true. There are venomous animals and some pretty big spiders. It never becomes any
less nerve wracking to pick up a tarantula, I promise you that. But trust me when I say they are much more afraid of you than you should ever be of them. Insects on the other hand, are another story. And living in many
Arizona backyards is a fearless creature
armed with one of the most toxic venoms in the world. And while they are no bigger
than the tip of your finger, they are absolutely fearless when it comes to
attacking an intruder. OK so, right now I am
tucking my pant legs into my boots because
what I am standing in is the attack zone
of the harvester ant. Now there are many
species of ants that live out here in
the Sonoran Desert, but nothing is more aggressive
than the harvester ant. All ants have the
ability to bite, but what most people don’t
realize is that many species, including the harvester ant, also have the ability to sting, and boy is it a whooper. What I’m gonna try to
do is see if I can get harvester ants on my hands and let them bite and sting me for 60 seconds. If you guys want me to be stung
by the bullet ant some day, I think you have to
walk before you can run, so I think the harvester
ant is a great test to see how I would fend
against the bullet ant. All right, you ready? Now before I go
through with this, let’s talk about the toxicity
of the harvester ant. A single sting is said to
be almost 20 times as potent as a honeybee. Personally, I’m not
allergic to any bees, wasps, or hornets, still, this is
incredibly dangerous, so I stress never,
and I mean never, attempt what you are about
to see in this episode. I’m basically just
gonna put my hands down right here in front
of their burrow, and let them hop on. When harvester ants attack, they use their powerful
mandibles to bite and hold onto their victim. Ahh! Yep, getting stung already. While repetitively stinging
and injecting venom through the stinger at
the base of their abdomen. Oh, that burns. The venom is laced with
an alkaloid poison, which when released,
(yells in pain) acts as an alarm pheromone that causes other ants
in the area to attack. (yelling in pain) They’re all over my
hands now, look at that! This was very obvious, as after the first
sting was inflicted, it seemed as if
the entire colony was called to the front lines. Oh boy. (yelling in pain) 60 seconds seemed
like a lifetime. Ahh! As tiny stingers jabbed
me over and over. I could feel them
getting into my clothes, up my back, and onto my neck. Ow, there’s one on my neck. Murray, get the one off my neck. And eventually the
pain became too much. – [Voiceover] All right,
I think that’s 60 seconds. (yelling in pain) I was done. The ants had won. Ahhh! I gotta take my shirt off. So why in the world
did I do this? Well, many of you
out there watching have requested that I be
stung by a bullet ant, which can inflict a single sting that is considered to be one
of the most painful stings in the animal kingdom. Ow, there’s still
one in my pants. Ahh! This is truly the meaning
of ants in your pants. The producers and
I wanted to see how my body would
react to several stings from the harvester ant. When it was all said and done, the crew and I counted
63 sting zones. And the effects of the venom
lasted for nearly a week, which included searing pain
during the first couple hours followed by
swelling, tenderness, and periodic itching. My arms, my hands,
the back of my head are absolutely on
fire right now. Wow. The harvester art is one
formidable little foe, I can tell you that much. If I could sustain
this, maybe, just maybe, the bullet ant challenge
isn’t too far off. – [Voiceover] We
gotta get a shot, man. Come on over. (Coyote groans in pain) I know it hurts. – I think a half hour
from now, if I’m OK, there’s a good chance
that I’m gonna be able to get up close, possibly
stung, by the bullet ant. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild, stay away from harvester ants. I’ll see you on
the next adventure. I’m sure your’re shaking your
head right now, thinking, “Coyote, you are
absolutely crazy.” And maybe I am, but
I hope that we have all learned something from
this little experiment. One, that ants both
bite and sting. And two, never, I mean never, tangle with a colony
of harvester ants. If you thought getting stung
by harvester ants was crazy, check out the time I was
chewed by the solpugid. And don’t forget to subscribe
to join me and the crew on this season of
Breaking Trail. Oh my gosh, his little
mandibles are razor sharp. (moaning in pain) Ow.

CRAZY ANT BITE!

CRAZY ANT BITE!


(deep dramatic music) – I’m Coyote Peterson. Those are leafcutter ants. And they bite,
really really hard. (sighs with exasperation) Here we go again. (pained yelling) Yeah, he’s popping
holes into my finger. OW! (rhythmic jungle music) (lion roars) Costa Rica is an outdoor
adventurer’s playground. And if you venture to
the Southwestern edge, you will find yourself
exploring the dense rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. A truly primitive paradise, that is home to one of the
most impressive creatures I have ever encountered. What you’re looking at here, this barren runway
that cuts right through the heart of the rainforest. It may look like a game trail, but believe it or not, this
was made by leafcutter ants. And as soon as the sun gets
a little higher in the sky, and the forest warms up, this is going to be swarming with those industrious
little insects. Leafcutter ants are
famous for being one of the most complex societies
in the animal kingdom. Building nests that are
over 100 feet across, and which can contain over
eight million individuals. What do these millions of
ants do all day, you wonder? Well, as their name
suggests, they cut leaves. Wow, look at that! At one point, this
was a complete leaf. And you can see where the
ants have intricately cut out little sections to
take back to the nest. Alright, well let’s keep
following the trails, and see if we can find
some of these ants. The trails can run for miles through the rainforest. And if you follow the ants
who are carrying the leaves, eventually you’ll be
led back to the nest. Not a place you’d ever
want to find yourself. Unless, of course, you were me. And you were looking
to challenge one of
the angry soldiers. Okay, so, we have
now located the nest. Wander back into there, and I will literally
be under attack. I have rolled up my pant
legs, as you can see. – [Voiceover] Great
look by the way – Yeah, no, this is
my classy jungle look. Alright, I’m gonna go get
myself an angry soldier. You guys ready? I have to do this quick. Alright, here we go, good? – [Voiceover] Yep. – Entering the zone surrounding
a nest of leafcutter ants is incredibly dangerous. And in a matter of
seconds, we were swarmed. Alright, I’m looking
for a huge one. We are under attack right now. Careful, yeah they get on you. Don’t let yourself get bit. – [Voiceover] Oh man, they’re
right out of this hole. – [Coyote] Alright,
I’m gonna grab one. – [Voiceover] Right
here, look at this. They’re just jumping
out of the hole. – [Coyote] Oh gosh, there’s
a huge one right there. Look at the size of that one. Got it, holy cow, ow! A little one bite me. – [Voiceover] Oh, I got
them crawling up my leg. Okay time to get out – [Coyote] Get out. Out out out. Abort abort. (pained grunts) – [Voiceover] Hang
on, oh jeeze, oh man. Ow, oh my gosh, they’re huge
and they’re all over me. – [Coyote] Good? – [Voiceover] Yeah, dude,
they swarmed me bad. Jeeze they come at you so fast. – [Coyote] Oh wait hang
on, you’ve got a huge one on the back of your leg. Yup, even Mark took some
bites to make this episode. Whoa, that is a big
soldier ant right there. This species of ant only
bites, it does not sting. Which is good news for me, so my hands aren’t going
to end up like they did after the fire ants. Now, size to body weight ratio, this is one of the strongest
animals on the planet. Now, I’m told that these
mandibles are so powerful, they can cut through skin. I know you guys are curious as to just how powerful
those mandibles are. So what I’m gonna do today, is get chomped by
the leafcutter ant. If threatened, a soldier
will attack any invader. No matter how big or small,
with incredible force. Using sheer like
mandibles, they will bite and tear the victim apart. Showing absolutely no mercy. I don’t really mind
getting bitten by things, it’s stings that
are usually worse. But, uh, I’m looking at those
mandibles, and I’m thinking This guy’s probably
gonna break skin. For my own safety, and
the safety of the crew, We have chosen to perform this
experiment with a single ant. This scene is
incredibly graphic, never attempt what
you’re about to witness under any circumstances. Get ready, there will be blood. Alright, I’m Coyote Peterson, and I’m about to
enter the strike zone, with the leafcutter ant. Here we go, ready? One. Two. Three. Ahh! (pained gasps) Yup, definitely breaking
through the skin there. Oh there’s like
little razor blades. I have an incredibly
high pain tolerance, so my goal was to
last 60 seconds, under the onslaught of bites. Can you see that? He’s popping holes
into my finger. Ow! These ants are intelligent, so
by moving from spot to spot, the ant was testing the
weakness of my flesh. Oh yeah, that hurts. He’s got me good right there. His mandibles cut through me, like a hot knife
slicing warm butter. And boy did it hurt. (grunts in pain) Oh man that hurts! Yup, definitely just
cut through the skin! Turn away if you are squeamish, this part is pretty crazy. Those little mandibles
are razor sharp. It is really tough to
just keep my hand still. And you can see the blood
is now starting to pour out. I could feel each
layer of skin cutting as the ant began to bury
it’s head into my finger. Ow, he’s burying his
head into my finger! The seconds seemed to
draw out like minutes, as beads of sweat
poured down my face. (pained grunts) Finally the ant decided I
wasn’t going to give in, and as it removed it’s mandibles
from the hole in my finger the challenge was
decidedly over. I had lasted over sixty seconds, in the jaws of a leaf cutter. Okay, I gotta take him off. – [Voiceover] Ooh, ew. – Gross. And my blood is already
starting to coagulate. But look at that. Holy cow, that is one
powerful little insect. My finger is
throbbing right now. And in my quest to find
the most powerful ant bite, and sting, I would
have to say that the leafcutter ant,
without question, is capable of slicing
through human skin. And on the ant power scale, I’m gonna rank this little
insect, as an eight. I can’t even imagine how bad
the bullet ant is gonna be. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave, stay wild. We’ll see ya on
the next adventure. Whoa that hurts! Like all ants, the leafcutter
only attacks if threatened. And I’m sure you were thinking, “Coyote, are you taking these
ant challenges too far?” “Look at your finger, it
looks like a horror film.” To be honest, I had
no idea a single ant could do this much damage. (slow pained groans) So the moral of the story is, if you’re ever in Costa Rica, pay attention to
your surroundings. He’s popping holes
into my finger. Because the last place
you want to find yourself, is in a swarm of angry soldiers. If you thought this ant
challenge was extreme, make sure and go back and watch my painful encounter with
a mound of fire ants. And don’t forget, subscribe to join me and the
crew on this season of, Breaking Trail. (rumble) (birds chirping)

FIRE ANT ATTACK!

FIRE ANT ATTACK!


(heavy piano roll) – I’m Coyote Peterson. This is a mountain of fire ants. I think we all know
where this is headed. Oh boy, here we go. Holy Cow, that’s a
lot of stings already. (groans) (fast percussive music) (sighs) All right, guys. So when I was in Arizona you saw me put my
hands into a mound of harvester ants, a
species that both bites and stings. I lasted 60 seconds and
took a lot of venom. (squeals in pain) Yeah, got stung already. (squeals in pain) They’re all over my
hands now, look at that. Today I’m in South Florida
and right in front of me is a giant mound of fire ants. I’m sure you’re looking at this pile of dirt
thinking to yourselves is that really an ant hill? Looks like no one’s home. I promise you, there
are thousands of these fiery little ants
beneath the surface. And the second that my
hands disturb this dirt I’m going to be swarmed by
these ornery little insects. Am I excited about this? Not really. Am I curious about
what’s going to happen? Of course, and I know
you guys are too. I think at this point
I am ready to enter the strike zone
with the fire ant. The red imported fire ant
is native to South America. Yet they have established
populations in several places across the United States,
including Florida. What makes these insects so
dangerous is that their mounds camouflage into the environment, resembling nothing more
than a pile of dirt. Stumble into one, and
before you even realize what you have done, you
are caught in the swarm. Now just like the
harvester ant, the fire ant can bite and it can also sting. And they say that the
sting of a fire ant feels like putting your
hands into a ring of fire. Now before I actually
go through with this, here’s a little something
we all should know. The sting of this ant species
possesses an alkaloid venom known as Solenopsin,
which exhibits a potent necro-toxic reaction
in any one who’s stung. This not only causes
searing pain but also causes the sting zones to swell and
form unsightly white pustulates in as little as 12 hours. In short, this is
one nasty sting, and boy am I about to get
my fair share of them. You build yourself
up for these moments, and then you second
guess yourself. We’ve done a couple of
practice dry runs at it just as rehearsal as to where
I’m going to put my hands. When they go in there, I’m
going to be able to do this one time. I’m going to try to keep my
hands in there for 60 seconds. My heart is racing right now. Hopefully my body reacts
okay to the venom. I don’t want to go into
anaphylactic shock or anything. I did okay wit the
harvester ants, so I think I’m going to be okay. All right, here we go, ready. Okay, go get in position,
I’ll be there in a second. – [Voiceover] All right, man. (Ominous music) – Never, under any
circumstances, try to replicate what you are about to
witness in this video. I’m Coyote Peterson and I’m
about to enter the strike zone with a fire ant. You guys ready? Your shot good?
– [Cameraman] Yup. – One, two, three. (light, percussive rattle) Holy cow. Ow, ow, ow, ooh! (pained in and out breaths) Holy cow, that’s a
lot of stings already. (suppressed groan) Okay, I’m going to
have take my hands out pretty quickly, guys. (pained grunts) So much worse than
the harvester ants. (pained groans) – [Voiceover] 30 seconds (heavy, fast breaths) – I cant, I can’t, I gotta stop. I gotta stop, I gotta stop. (Timer buzzes) – [Voiceover] You all right? How are you, tell me
what you’re feeling? – A lot of pain. They’re still on me. (pained groan) My hands are on fire right now. It is worse than
the harvester ants. There’s no question about it. (groans, breathes quickly) – [Voiceover] What’s going
through your mind right now? – My hands feel like
they’re swelling right now. I feel like I’m
still getting stung. (light groan) Be one with the pain. Be one with the pain. Look at my veins
are all swelling up. When a mound of fire
ants is disturbed, thousands of them instantly
swarm the invader. (groans) The attack comes from all sides. And as the ants bite and hold
down with their mandibles they use a stinger in their
abdomen to inject the venom. (deep groan) I was hoping to last 60 seconds. However, my pain tolerance
finally gave out, as my brain was
screaming, “Get your hands out of that ant mound.” All right, so, it’s
been about five minutes since I had my hands
in the ant mound. As you can see, they’re
starting to swell up. There’s a bunch of little
white lumps all over them. It’s actually not too
bad at this point. It hurts less than it does itch. I really want to itch
my hands right now, and I know that i
shouldn’t, because if I do it’s only
going to make it worse. Now, if you want
to know the answer of which is worse,
the harvester ant or the fire ant, I
think the pain was worse with the harvester ant,
but obviously the swarm was more impressive
with the fire ant. This is much worse than
the harvester ants. (groans) The moment those ants
were covering my hands, I was immediately getting stung over and over and over
again, and it did feel like putting my hands
into a ring of fire. Here we come. (groans) I think no matter what,
at the end of the day the lesson we’re all
taking away from this is that if you’re out in
nature, and you’re exploring, always do your best to avoid
any and all ant mounds. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. In total I sustained
over 300 stings and for over a week
I suffered through incredible discomfort,
which included flashes of pain, and
continuous itching. It took over 30 days
for the pustulates to completely diminish, and they left behind a trail of
scars, that today serve as a constant reminder
of why you never want to tangle with fire ants. Nearly all the ant attacks
on humans happen by accident. Pay attention to
where you step or sit, and you hopefully will not
end up looking like me. Do you know the simplest
remedy for neutralizing ant stings in the field? If not, make sure
to click Watch Next for when totally gross
Behind the Adventure. And don’t forget, subscribe
to join me and the crew on this season of
Breaking Trail. (light, playful music) Well, I think it’s safe
to say that I’m done with ants for a while. (wild animal sounds)

These Ant Paramedics Save Their Injured Comrades

These Ant Paramedics Save Their Injured Comrades


♪Intro♪ If you’re ever seriously hurt, you can probably
go to a hospital and get help. But animals don’t have doctors. If they’re injured, wounds can get infected
pretty quickly or mean impending doom. Except… that might not necessarily be true
for one species of ant. In a paper published this week, researchers
from Germany have discovered that the African Matabele ants tend to each other’s open
wounds after vicious battles with termites. And they think it’s the first time a behavior
like this has ever been observed in insects. Two to four times every day, Matabele ants
hunt termites. A scout ant finds a vulnerable nest of termites
and then leads a raiding party back to it. But termites have powerful jaws, called mandibles,
so these raids are pretty dangerous for the ants. They often end up with one or more of their
six legs bitten off. Scientists already knew that these wounded
ants secrete pheromones from glands in their mandibles that act as calls for help, attracting
their friends to carry them home. And now, thanks to a combination of lab and
field experiments, we also know what happens next. Very badly injured ants — who have lost
almost all of their limbs — are left behind, because they thrash around so much that helper
ants can’t carry them. Ants that are less badly injured — like
if they’re missing one or two legs — keep still, cooperate with their rescuers, and
are more likely to be carried back. This keeps resources from being wasted on
lost causes. Once an injured ant gets home, other ants
lick their wounds for several minutes. Ants don’t really have tongues, but they
carefully clean the injuries with their mouthparts. According to these experiments, ants that
lose limbs and don’t receive this treatment have about an 80% chance of dying. But with the licking, that number drops to
10%. The researchers think this treatment helps
reduce the chance of infection in open wounds, removing dirt and debris that could carry
pathogens. And while this hasn’t been tested yet, it’s
possible the ants could be applying some sort of antimicrobial substance as well. Once they heal up, ants that still have four
or five legs left can get around just fine and contribute to the colony. So this treatment isn’t just out of the
goodness of their hearts — it’s a useful adaptation. Those wounded veterans are still expected
to earn their keep. Ant medicine may be full of surprises, but
we’re still learning a lot about human medicine, too. And a study published in the journal Science
this month gleaned some new insight into brain disorders. Many medical conditions can be diagnosed based
on physical signs, like a rash or a tumor. But psychiatric conditions are different. Doctors can’t spot them on a brain scan;
they have to be diagnosed based on feelings and behaviors. We know that certain gene variations are linked
to risks for certain psychiatric disorders, but that part of biology involves a lot of
questions, and not very many answers. All of your cells have the same DNA, so sequencing
your genome can reveal what gene variants you have. But analyzing all the RNA in a cell, which
is called a transcriptome, actually shows which genes are being expressed. That’s because the information stored in
DNA is decoded into RNA to make all the different proteins our bodies need. Cells in different organs need different proteins,
and therefore different active genes, to do their jobs. But other things, like environments you’ve
been exposed to, could affect gene expression too — including genes in brain cells, where
tiny chemical changes can affect how you think, feel, and act. This new study combined data from nine previous
studies to form a meta-analysis of 700 brain tissue samples from deceased people. Specifically, the researchers were looking
at RNA in cerebral cortex tissue — the surface structure in the brain that’s involved in
a lot of information processing and decision making. The tissue samples came from patients with
autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and alcoholism, and some brains of people
without any diagnosed disorders for comparison. Using a lot of math, the scientists used all
this transcriptome data to look for patterns of gene expression. These are all different disorders with different
symptoms, so it would make sense to think that their causes and effects in brain cells
would vary, as well. But learning if and how these conditions overlap
might give scientists new hints about how to help these patients. And some patterns the researchers found caught
them by surprise. For instance, bipolar disorder and depression
were fairly distinct, even though they’re both considered mood disorders and share some
symptoms. Alcoholism also had basically no overlap with
any of these other disorders, despite previous studies that suggested that alcoholism and
depression might share some genetic risk factors. Schizophrenia and autism, on the other hand,
showed some similarities. With both disorders, patients seemed to express
fewer genes for communication between neurons and more genes related to inflammation. And inflammation-related genes were extra
active in the autism brain samples, adding to evidence that gene overexpression could
play a role in that condition. There are other small results too, but no
huge takeaways yet. Mostly, this study is another step toward
learning how brain functions can go wrong. Transcriptome research won’t actually help
with diagnoses and treatments until we do a lot more of it, and on more specific parts
of human brains. But by gradually learning about how psychiatric
disorders might affect brains biologically, researchers hope to develop more effective
treatments someday. Thanks for joining me for SciShow News, and
a special thanks to Patreon President of Space Matthew Brant. Without Matthew and all of our patrons on
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