Dec 17

H/t reader squody:

“Got at.

What could possibly go wrong…except perhaps symbiosis leads to wipe out.”


Creating GM diamondback moths could save brassica crops

GM insects should be given field trials in Britain, says House of Lords report:

Powerful technology could provide safer alternatives to pesticides or even eliminate transmission of lethal diseases

The first field trials of genetically modified insects should be encouraged by the Government, a parliamentary investigation has concluded.

Scientists in the UK have pioneered the development of GM insects, which can be used to reduce the transmission of pests in crops or diseases in livestock and people – but highly-restrictive EU regulations have effectively blocked field trials. Continue reading »

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Nov 01

Watch bats prepare for their nightly flight. More on this story https://www.insidescience.org/content….

For more from Inside Science visit us at www.insidescience.org.

The Bat House and UF Bat Barn located on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville have become home for an estimated 300,000 bats. In these houses, every evening is like Halloween.

As the sun sets the crowds gather to see the current residents because they don’t come out during the day.

Continue reading »

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Jul 31

New species of insect discovered in China with an 8 inch wingspan

New species of insect discovered in China with an 8 inch wingspan (Disclose.tv, July 25, 2014):

The largest aquatic insect in the world has been found in Chengdu, China * It is of the order Megaloptera and has a wingspan of 8.3 inches (21 cm) * This is larger than the previous record, which stood at 7.5 inches (19 cm) * The giant insect has huge mandibles that it uses during mating * Can be found near wet environments such as lakes but lives just a few days A newly discovered member of the Megaloptera family has been found that could be the largest aquatic insect in the world. It was found on a mountain in Chengdu, Sichuan province in China. The mysterious specimen of which little is known has a wingspan of 8.3 inches (21 centimetres). The family of Megaloptera includes about 300 species of fishflies, dobsonflies and alderflies. The name Megaloptera describes that insects have large (megal) wings (ptera) compared to their bodies. Continue reading »

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May 08

fukushima-spider-net

Expert: “There’s just very few of the birds left” in the high contamination from Fukushima plant, “things are not looking good” — Spider webs looked ‘strange’ (PHOTO) — Animals response to radiation over twice as bad as in Chernobyl — “Implies effects are stronger in Fukushima” (VIDEO) (ENENews, May 7, 2014):

Public Radio Exchange, Donna Descoteaux, Oct. 2013: Dr. Timothy Mousseau, a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina […] shares with us the results of his research at Chernobyl and Fukushima, which shows significant increases in genetic damage, birth defects in animals and humans, increased tumor rates and developmental abnormalities, biodiversity in decline, local extinction of some species and transmission of mutations over generations. […] Dr. Mousseau’s research is critical and alarming […] Continue reading »

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Apr 08

PHOTOS: Study finds deformities “significantly higher” in Fukushima insects — “To my knowledge, such deformations haven’t been reported” in species before — Lower body split in half, 2 tail-like appendages — 1,000% higher death rate in young than other Japan area — Urgent investigations called for (ENENews, April 7, 2014):

Ecology and Evolution (Journal), Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?, Shin-ichi Akimoto, Graduate School of Agriculture at Hokkaido University, 2014:

Excerpts from Abstract: “This study compared the morphology and viability of gall-forming aphids between the Fukushima population and control populations […] proportions of abnormalities and mortality were significantly higher in Fukushima [and] suggests that radioactive contamination had deleterious effects” Continue reading »

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Mar 03

High concentration of radioactive cesium found in land animals (Kyodo News, March 2, 2013):

A high concentration of radioactive cesium has been found in a range of land animals and insects in areas around the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, providing a clue to a mechanism of radioactivity accumulation in the food chain, a study showed Saturday.

According to a survey by the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and Hokkaido University, over 6,700 becquerels per kilogram of cesium 137 was detected in a frog captured in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, some 40 kilometers west of the crippled nuclear plant.

Continue reading »

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Dec 16


YouTube Added: 03.12.2012

Description:

Microcosmos is a 1996 documentary film by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou and produced by Jacques Perrin. This film is primarily a record of detailed insect interactions set to the music of Bruno Coulais. A documentary of insect life in meadows and ponds, using incredible close-ups, slow motion, and time-lapse photography. It includes bees collecting nectar, ladybugs eating mites, snails mating, spiders wrapping their catch, a scarab beetle relentlessly pushing its ball of dung uphill, endless lines of caterpillars, an underwater spider creating an air bubble to live in, and a mosquito hatching. Written by Will Gilbert

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Oct 15

Fukushima citizen, “We didn’t see bugs this summer, children are made carry a portable shrine in black rain” (Fukushima Diary, Oct 14, 2012)

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Aug 15

Biologist on Mutated Butterflies: Study is overwhelming in its implications for humans — Japan Researcher: Insects were believed to be very resistant to radiation — Irregularly developed eyes, malformed antennae, much smaller wings (PHOTO) (ENENews, Aug 13, 2012):

Title: ‘Severe abnormalities’ found in Fukushima butterflies
Source:  BBC News
Author: Nick Crumpton
Date: August 13, 2012

Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment have caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests.


Source: Scientific Reports

Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident. Continue reading »

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Aug 13

Radioactive fallout from Fukushima nuclear meltdowns caused abnormalities in Japan’s butterflies (Japan Times, Aug 12, 2012):

Radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture created abnormalities among the nation’s butterflies, according to a team of researchers.

“We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima (No. 1) nuclear power plant caused physiological and genetic damage” to pale grass blue butterflies, a common species in Japan, a recent article in Scientific Reports, one of on-line journals of the Nature Publishing Group, said.

Continue reading »

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Apr 17

Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) (DARPA):

Olfactory training of bees has been used to locate mines and weapons of mass destruction. The Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) program is aimed at developing technology to provide control over insect locomotion, just as reins are needed for effective control over horse locomotion.

HI-MEMS-derived technologies will enable many robotic capabilities at low cost, impacting the development of future autonomous defense systems. The realization of cyborgs will provide compact platforms that use highly efficient biological systems developed over millions of years of evolution. HI-MEMS platforms will extend the duration and improve the capability of microbotic missions due to the combined efficiency of biochemical energy storage (fat) and bio-actuators (muscle) compared to traditional chemical energy storage (battery) and actuators (motors).  The basic technology developed in this program will also serve as a biological tool to understand and control insect development, opening vistas in our understanding of tissue development and providing new technological pathways to harness the natural sensors and power generation of insects.

Continue reading »

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Jan 12

4170 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium in Crickets in Iitate-mura, Fukushima (EX-SKF, Jan. 11, 2012):

A researcher (vice president) at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology collected 500 crickets (1 kilogram) in Iitate-mura in Fukushima Prefecture, and found 4,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. He also tested locusts in different locations in Fukushima, and found radioactive cesium in them.

Bio-concentration at work. No information whether he tested other nuclides like radioactive silver (Ag-110m). Professor Bin Mori of Tokyo University found radioactive silver highly concentrated (1000 times the amount in the environment) in Nephila clavata he caught in Iitate-mura.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (1/12/2012):

東京電力福島第一原発事故で、原発から40キロ離れた計画的避難区域内に生息するコオロギから1キロ・グラム(約500匹)あたり4000ベクレル以上の放射性セシウムが検出されたことが、東京農工大の普後一(ふごはじめ)副学長(昆虫生理学)の調査でわかった。

A survey conducted by Hajime Fugo, vice president of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (specialty: insect physiology) found over 4,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium in crickets (500 of them that weigh about 1 kilogram) from within the planned evacuation zone 40 kilometers away from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

別の場所のイナゴからも最大200ベクレルを検出した。

In another location, 200 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found from locusts.

Continue reading »

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Nov 08

Prof. Dr. Bin Mori:

“This is the first discovery in the world that an insect highly concentrates silver. Also, it is evident that bio-concentration of radioactivity in the forest has already started.”

Now guess what will happen if human beings eat radioactive Japanese food?

Still believe the government?

NHK Calls 20 Millisieverts/Year ‘Low-Level Radiation’ & The Lies Of Minister Goshi Hosono

Think again:

Silent Death – Horror Scenario Awaits Japan (The Low-Level Radiation Myth Exposed)


#Radiation in Japan: Spiders in Iitate-mura Concentrating Radioactive Silver 1,000 Times (EX-SKF, Nov. 7, 2011):

Dr. Bin Mori is a professor emeritus at University of Tokyo, Faculty of Agriculture. Since the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear crisis on March 11, the professor has been writing his blog focusing on the effect of radiation in plants and remediation of agricultural land.

I have featured his autoradiographs of dandelion and horsetail on my blog before.

In his post on October 30, Professor Mori wrote about his discovery, probably the world first, he made in spiders (Nephila clavata) he caught in Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture, where the villagers were forced to evacuate after being designated as “planned evacuation zone”. The spiders, he found, had radioactive silver (Ag-110m) at 1,000 times the concentration in the environment.

The following is my translation of Dr. Mori’s October 30 blog post, with his express permission:

飯舘村で雨の降る中での植物の採取は困難であったので、竹藪や杉林の中で、網を張っているジョロウグモ(Nephila clavata)を捕獲してきました。

Since it was difficult to collect plants in the rain in Iitate-mura, I caught instead “nephila clavatas” in the bamboo groves and cedar forest.

クモは直接土を食べるかどうかわからないが、網にかかった蝶やアブやカナブンなどを食べて林の中の食物連鎖の上位に位し、放射性セシウムを濃縮しているだろうと考えたからです。

I don’t know whether the spiders eat dirt itself, but I thought they may have concentrated radioactive cesium in their bodies as they were at the top of the food chain in the forest, eating butterflies, horseflies, and drone beetles that they caught in their webs. Continue reading »

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Jan 28

Insect invasion is worst in the African country in 30 years

Liberia has declared a state of emergency over a plague of caterpillars that has destroyed plants and crops and contaminated water supplies, threatening an already fragile food situation.

Tens of millions of marching caterpillars have invaded at least 80 towns and villages in central and northern Liberia, preventing some farmers from reaching their fields and causing others to flee their homes. The inch-long pests – the caterpillar life stage of the noctuid moth – have spread to neighbouring Guinea and are threatening Sierra Leone, which has set up monitoring teams along its border.

Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said in a televised speech on Monday night that the country’s worst plague of caterpillars in three decades had “the potential to set back our progress in the production of food and export crops”.

Continue reading »

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Mar 20

cyborginsects_48_2.jpg

For years, now, Pentagon-backed researchers have been trying to create cyborg insects that could serve as living, remote-controlled spies. The problem is, those modified bugs never survived long enough to be useful. Now, Georgia Tech professor Robert Michelson says he’s managed to get the bug ‘borgs to live into adulthood.

DARPA’s Hi-MEMS program aims to implant place micro-mechanical systems [MEMS] “inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis,” the agency explains. That way, as the bugs get older, tissues grow around — and fuse together with — the tiny machines.

Flight International reports that, in his latest work, Michelson truncated a Manduca moth’s thorax “to reduce its mass.” Then he put in “a MEMS component… where abdominal segments would have been, during the larval stage.” Continue reading »

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Mar 15

Global warming could bring about a veritable insect explosion, if past performance is an indication of future gains.

Just such a buggy invasion swarmed parts of the northern United States during an abrupt global warming event more than 50 million years ago, a new study of leaf fossils shows.

The study’s findings, detailed in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that the same thing could happen during our current period of warming.

leaf-fossil.jpg

This fossilized leaf shows where insects ate away at the plant some 50 million years ago during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14

During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum more than 55 million years ago, insects chewed large holes in this leaf.

paleocene-eocene-thermal-maximum-leaf-fossil-bg.jpg

More than 55 million years ago, the Earth experienced a rapid jump in global carbon dioxide levels that raised temperatures across the planet. Now, researchers studying plants from that time have found that the rising temperatures may have boosted the foraging of insects. As modern temperatures continue to rise, the researchers believe the planet could see increasing crop damage and forest devastation. Continue reading »

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