What Is a Eureka Moment for a Scientist?

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[MUSIC] There have been great times in my life when I've discovered something surprising, but every scientist seeks those moments, it's the ultimate fix when something new suddenly appears before you or arise in your mind when you put a few things together while you're walking down the hall to get a cup of coffee.

[MUSIC] One of them was an experimental work, when I decided on the basis of an earlier eureka moment that ants must have a complicated chemical code they were communicating with called theramond/g, the newly termed word theramond/g because they were doing so many complicated things, they were talking to each other and we couldn't figure out what they were doing, and I said, Well, it's got to be chemical communication, and that sounds so obvious now, but at the time I hit upon this it wasn't, people didn't have any examples.

So, when I set out to track the, or determine the trail substance used by fire ants I then decided that the best way to do it would be to find the glandular source, there had to be a gland that it was coming from, and I finally after a number of trials, it was very difficult to do technically in a tiny ant to take out all these glands independently, wash them and then apply the substances in them, and when I finally hit on a little gland called Dufour's gland.

I expected that maybe with luck I would lay the trail and then get some sugar and some ants and get them to follow it up, but no I laid the trail with the applicator stick of this substance in that little gland, I exploded activity in the colony, suddenly something happened, I saw a large number of my colony members got all excited, racing about and rushed out on that trail.

And I realized that yes they were pheromones and they weren't just little simple language things that accompanied their instinctive behavior, controlled otherwise by the pheromones themselves virtually led the ants their lives and that has kind of served to be the done enough [UNKNOWN].