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Insects in Biological News

Birds, bats and insects hold secrets for aerospace engineers

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Natural flyers like birds, bats and insects outperform man-made aircraft in aerobatics and efficiency. University of Michigan engineers are studying these animals as a step toward designing flapping-wing planes with wingspans smaller than a deck of playing cards. A Blackbird ...

Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Ever since a forward-thinking trio of physicists identified the phenomenon known as self-organized criticality---a mechanism by which complexity arises in nature---scientists have been applying its concepts to everything from economics to avalanches. Now, researchers at the U...

Handbook of small grain insects available now

The Entomological Society of America (ESA), in cooperation with the American Phytopathological Society (APS), announces the publication of Handbook of Small Grain Insects, the latest in ESAs Insect Pest Handbooks series. This comprehensive color guide examines the biology and management of arthrop...

Tropical insects 'go the distance' to inform rainforest conservation

EAST LANSING, Mich. The long-held belief that plant-eating insects in tropical forests are picky eaters that stay close to home dining only on locale-specific vegetation is being challenged by new research findings that suggest these insects feast on a broader menu of foliage and can be consis...

Study assesses impact of fish stocking on aquatic insects

The impact fish stocking has on aquatic insects in mountain lakes can be rapidly reversed by removing non-native trout, according to a study completed by U.S. Forest Service and University of California, Davis, scientists. Their findings appear in a current online issue of the journal Freshwater...

Why do insects like to eat some plants more than others?

In a study appearing in the forthcoming issue of The American Naturalist, Tom E. X. Miller, Andrew J. Tyre, and Svata M. Louda (all of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln) examined herbivore dynamics, specifically why plants aren't all eaten at the same rate. Plant-insect ecologists typically at...

Giant insects might reign if only there was more oxygen in the air

The delicate lady bug in your garden could be frighteningly large if only there was a greater concentration of oxygen in the air, a new study concludes. The study adds support to the theory that some insects were much larger during the late Paleozoic period because they had a much richer oxygen sup...

Value of services performed by insects tops $57 billion in US

Think twice before you blithely swat, stomp, curse or ignore insects, says Cornell University entomologist John Losey, who co-authored a study that shows the dollar value of some of those insect services is more than $57 billion in the United States annually. The research appears in the journal Bio...

Gene needed for butterfly transformation also key for insects like grasshoppers

It is a marvel of nature that a creature such as a caterpillar changes into something quite different, a butterfly. Contrast that with a grasshopper, which looks largely the same from the time it hatches through its adult stage. New University of Washington research shows that a regulatory gene ...

DDT-resistant insects have additional genetic advantage that helps resistance spread

Insects that can withstand the powerful pesticide DDT that was banned in the 1970s have an additional genetic advantage over their rivals that has helped them spread across the globe ever since, according to research published in Current Biology tomorrow (9 August 2005). This discovery overturns...

Why do insects stop 'breathing'? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers

A new study investigating the respiratory system of insects may have solved a mystery that has intrigued physiologists for decades: why insects routinely stop breathing for minutes at a time. Challenging previous theories, researchers at UC Irvine and Humboldt University propose that insects suc...

Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones

University of Washington TechTransfer recently licensed software that will give scientists a huge advantage in the fight against disease. The software, known as Rosetta, predicts how proteins fold, information that is highly valuable to biological and biomedical researchers. UW Tech Transfer's Digi...

Carbon nanoparticles toxic to adult fruit flies but benign to young

...notubes carried the carbon on their bodies from one test tube into another and deposited some of the particles in the clean tube. That test showed how insects could be vectors for transporting nanomaterials, Rand said. While two generations of fruit fly larvae showed no ill effects from eating carbon nano...

New insights into health and environmental effects of carbon nanoparticles

... A new study raises the possibility that flies and other insects that encounter nanomaterial "hot spots," or spills, near manufacturing facilities in the future could pick up and transport nanoparticles on their bod...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

...was an ambush predator, living in logs and fronds, waiting for prey such as insects to walk by before catching and killing them. This stance is seen in modern day crab spiders, which sit on the edge of flowers and wait for insects to land so that they can grab them. The scientists also discovered that...

Sustainable agriculture at the ESA Annual Meeting

... of dollars each year on pesticides to kill crop-eating insects. But these insects have natural enemies, too, and new research is investigating what farmers c...ore dramatically. "By having complexity, you're supplying a community of insects to that farm that will be waiting when and if more pests show up," Chaplin...

Animal and plant communication at the ESA Annual Meeting

...ly, attacking anything that comes near from other insects to birds and small mammals. One species of bug...-shaped structure with a pool of water in it. When insects investigate, they slide into the pitcher and meet ...e attracted to flowers there's a general idea that insects like bright colors, especially reds and yellows. B...

Urban water ecology at the ESA annual meeting

...s harmful to most organisms, there is one group of insects that thrives on it: mosquitoes. Luis Fernando Ch...ake matter worse, it's possible that other aquatic insects that would feed on mosquito larvae are poisoned in sewage overflow water. Many aquatic insects breathe underwater through gill-like structures, s...

Large trees declining in Yosemite

...es much of the water for the growing season. A longer summer dry season can also reduce tree growth and vigor, and can reduce trees' ability to resist insects and pathogens." Scientists also found a shift to fire-intolerant trees in some forests that had not experienced fires for nearly a century. In the...

Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage

...ety fur, the lesser short-tailed bat is New Zealand's only terrestrial mammal: it spends long periods on the ground in heavily forested areas, hunting insects and seeking out fruit, nectar and pollen. It also appears to have evolved a special relationship as a pollinator for the Hades flower, or woodrose,...

High construction cost for cycads

...nvironmental issue because Guam's Cycas population is being threatened by alien species that feed on its leaves. Guam's alien deer and several alien insects halt a leaf's payback process such that construction costs are not recovered before the leaves are eaten. As the process is repeated the plant effecti...

New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator

... Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defences to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that t...

Slotted buses keep passengers cool

... comfort there is an overall reduction in drag. Some of this drag reduction could be sacrificed to provide grills and filters to prevent the influx of insects and dust. Optionally a passive evaporative cooling system could be incorporated into the vents to cool the incoming air and further boost the comfort ...

Sex involved in plant defense

...d on the asexual species and lived longer while doing so. The results were a bit different for so-called "specialist" plant-eaters, however. Those insects that prefer just one kind of food were more apt to munch on sexually reproduced species of plant. This most likely occurs, Johnson says, because speci...

Landmark project to map genomics of complex ant systems

...roduce bio-fuels, or improve our agricultural methods." Gerardo is an expert in the ecology and evolution of fungus-growing ants. These "gardening" insects cut and transport leaves to nourish their food crops of fungi. Some ant species can process 15 percent of the leaves within a dense rain forest. An ar...

7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference 'Molecular Evolution' June 18-19, 2009

...rs. The demonstration that targeted expression of one and the same master control gene, that is, Pax6 can induce the formation of ectopic eyes in both insects and vertebrates, necessitates a reconsideration of the dogma of a polyphyletic origin of the various eye types in all the animal phyla. Prof. Gehring ...

New discovery suggests mammoths survived in Britain until 14,000 years ago

...ents the geological data needed to place the bones into their environmental context. This included a study of the bones' decay, analysis of fossilised insects which were also found on the site, and a geological analysis of the surrounding sediment. The research was carried out by Professor Adrian Li...

Biologist discovers pink-winged moth in Chiracahua Mountains

...nating when there is snow on the ground and flying off at the first signs of spring. Walsh said bats are the primary predators of moths, and so if the insects can make it through the winter, when bats hibernate, they will likely do well as the weather gets warmer. As to why L. leeae hasn't been found be...

Natural seed treatment could drastically cut pesticide use

...nce Limited. Scientists have long understood that spraying crops with jasmonic acid - a chemical naturally produced by plant leaves when attacked by insects - reduces pest attack. But crops treated with the chemical don't grow as well as those that are untreated. Researchers at Lancaster University's En...

Scientists tackle the mystery of white-nose syndrome in bats

...miting," McCracken said. Eating up to two-thirds of their body weight in insects over night, bats help keep insects under control, ultimately reducing the quantities of insecticides used on c...

Scientists unravel the mystery of white-nose syndrome

...miting," McCracken said. Eating up to two-thirds of their body weight in insects over night, bats help keep insects under control, ultimately reducing the quantities of insecticides used on c...

Trading energy for safety, bees extend legs to stay stable in wind

...tabilizing behavior is likely to be seen across Hymenoptera , the order of insects that includes bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies, and that turbulent airflow may decrease the flight performance of many other flying insects as well. ...

Resilin springs simplify the control of crustacean limb movements

..., UK investigated the presence of resilin, an elastic protein found in many insects and crustaceans, in crabs and crayfish caught in Norfolk and Cambridge, UK,... resilin are known to be put to use as energy storage mechanisms in jumping insects and as biological shock absorbers in many animals. I have now shown that it...

Notre Dame researchers describe new tool for evaluating 'managed relocations'

...ho joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2003, is studying the ways in which local and regional climatic effects are altering population dynamics. She uses insects and plants in grassland ecosystems to understand the effects of climate on nature. McLachlan, a Notre Dame faculty member since 2006, uses the less...

Climate change driving Michigan mammals north

...g about the commonest mammals there, mammals that have considerable ecological impact," Myers said. "They disperse seeds, they eat seeds, they eat the insects that kill trees, they disperse the fungus that grows in tree roots that is necessary for trees to grow, and they're the prey base for a huge number of...

Mosquito parasite may help fight dengue fever

...olbachia pipientis , shortens the lifespan of host insects and could restrict dengue fever transmission by killing the insects before they can pass the infection on, O'Neill and...and shortened the mosquitoes' lifespan. But before insects carrying the bacterium can be released into the en...

Symposia selected for Entomological Society of America meeting

...ctives on Physiological and Molecular Responses of insects to Low Temperature Evolutionary Arms Race of Re...quatic Entomology: Celebrating the Role of Aquatic insects in Scientific Research Diversity and Biology o...ylogeography and Historical Biogeography: What Can insects Tell Us About the Past? The Long and Short of L...

When industrious ants go too far

...cies of ants. The plant shelters ant colonies in hollow spaces in its limbs or leaves. The ants, in turn, protect the plant against threats from other insects or encroaching vegetation. The ants get a home; the plant gets protectioneverybody wins. But sometimes the delicate balance is tipped toward one pa...

IVCC and Syngenta start project for novel insecticidal active ingredient for malaria control

...th applications, as part of IVCC's strategy to break the impasse in development of mosquito control products. Improved and sustainable control of the insects that transmit disease is dependent upon development of new public health pesticides. However, since agrochemical insecticides are not targeted at mosq...

Sexual harassment from males prevents female bonding, says study

... species. Lead author Dr Safi Darden of the University of Exeter explains "Sexual harassment is a burden that females of many species ranging from insects to primates suffer and the results of our work suggest that this harassment may limit the opportunities for females to form social bonds across a rang...
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