Several animals reach inside Mother Nature's medicine cabinet when they get sick.
Chimps with parasitic worms have been observed swallowing whole leaves from certain trees.
Research suggests sick bumblebees self-medicate, too.
"Self-medication is a well-known phenomenon in vertebrate, and the fact that even insects can self-medicate really has attracted my curiosity," says David Baracchi, first author of a recent F1000Research study about bumblebees' interactions with nicotine-rich nectar.
In nature, bumblebees visit several different species of flowers, many of which have nectar containing antimicrobial molecules, like nicotine.
Baracchi spent nearly two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Professor Lars...