Insects

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Category archives for Insects

Bioengineering a safer mosquito

Scientists building a better mosquito: Without mosquitoes, epidemics of dengue fever and malaria could not plague this planet. The skin-piercing insects infect one person after another while dining on a favorite meal: human blood. Eliminating the pests appears impossible. But scientists are attempting to re-engineer them so they cannot carry disease. If they manage that,…

Honeybee genome completed!

The honeybee genome project has been finished and a bunch of papers are coming out tomorrow. As soon as they become available online I will comment, at least on the one paper that shows that the molecular machinery of the bee circadian clock is much more similar to the mammalian clock than the fruitfly clock…

New study on evolution of vision

For easy-to-understand quick look at the evolution of vision I have to refer you to these two posts by PZ Myers, this post of mine, and these two posts by Carl Zimmer. Now, armed with all that knowledge, you will curely appreciate the importance of this new study: Compound Eyes, Evolutionary Ties: Biologists at the…

From January 20, 2006, on the need to check the model-derived findings in non-model organisms.

Revenge of the Zombifying Wasp

One of the coolest parasites ever (from February 04, 2006):

Cooperative Hithhiking

Baby bugs team up for sex scam The moment they’re born, beetles of one species join forces for a curious drill. The larvae hatch out of their eggs and together, as a group, climb to the tip of the plant. There, they secrete a sex pheromone that attracts a male of a bee who tries…

Destructive insects on rise in Alaska: Destructive insects in unprecedented numbers are finding Alaska forests to be a congenial home, said University of Alaska forestry professor Glenn Juday, and climate change could be the welcome mat. Warmer winters kill fewer insects. Longer, warmer summers let insects complete a life cycle and reproduce in one year…

Ladybugs in un-lady-like places

How to collect and catalogue them.

Hypotheses leading to more hypotheses (from March 19, 2006 – the Malaria Day):

Another time-scale in insect brains

Bumble Bees Can Estimate Time Intervals: In a finding that broadens our understanding of time perception in the animal kingdom, researchers have discovered that an insect pollinator, the bumble bee, can estimate the duration of time intervals. Although many insects show daily and annual rhythms of behavior, the more sophisticated ability to estimate the duration…