Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Insects

Hannity and Carlson’s War on Entomology

Right wing TV bloviators oppose scientific research. And in other news, dog bites man. By way of Bug Girl, I came across this story about Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson opposing the use of $187,632 of stimulus money to buy storage cabinets for Michigan State University’s Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection which houses over…

About That Fruit Fly Research…

…it’s applied research. As far as I can tell, the McCain campaign is referring to a study of olive fruit flies which are an agricultural pest. From the congressman who wrote the earmark:

Oldest Bug EVAH! Discovered

(Jodi Hilton/Tufts University) In North Attleborough, MA, paleontologists have discovered the oldest insect fossil:

The Epidemiology of Bee Colony Collapse

Consider this a public service announcement. The NY Times has a very good op-ed piece explaining how mathematical epidemiology can be used to better understand bee colony collapse. The good news is (right now anyway) that it doesn’t look like all of the colonies will die off.

…the Chikungunya virus might have something to say about that (if it could speak). From PLoS Pathogens:

…they’re after you? Are we being spied upon by bug-like robots? There have been three independent sightings according to the Washington Post:

Bee Colony Collapse Is Associated with a Virus

We don’t know if the virus is the causal agent, but a recent Science paper used a metagenomics approach to find that bees from colonies that have collapsed are infected with a virus (and it’s the same virus in different colonies). Essentially, the researchers ground up bees, sequenced the whole mess, and using previous genome…

ScienceBlogling Mike Dunford has an interesting post asking whether we should save an endemic Hawaiian plant, the williwilli. It’s a good post, but I have two comments, one silly and one serious. The silly comment is that how could anyone let a plant named the williwilli become extinct? It’s so damn cute (and is the…

From the Montgomery Advertiser comes a story about gigantic yellow jacket nests. By giant, I mean taking over the entire interior of a car. (photo by Rob Carr) The nests are thought to contain multiple queens and about 100,000 workers. So far, 16 have been sighted in Alabama.