It may sound like a script for a science fiction movie, but scientists have created the world’s first mutant ants.

Two independent research teams have harnessed the gene editing technology CRISPR to genetically alter the ants. In one study, researchers at Rockefeller University modified a gene essential for sensing the pheromones that ants use to communicate. Experts say that the resulting deficiencies in the ants’ social behaviors and their ability to survive in a colony, sheds light on social evolution.

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