IF ONE of your neighbours had a life-threatening skin disease, your first response probably wouldn’t be to lick them. That’s because you are not a social insect. Ants in a colony lick their infected nest-mates, and doing so seems to inoculate them against future infection, protecting the colony.Ants are a fascinating group of insects, and in another interesting study have been found to actively inoculate themselves against disease when a fellow ant catches something. By licking them, oddly enough. In comparison though, our early inoculation efforts involved rubbing smallpox-infected pus into self-inflicted wounds. So who are we to judge?