A new fruit fly model that mimics diseases associated with high uric acid levels, such as gout and kidney stones, has revealed new targets for developing treatments for these diseases. Pankaj Kapahi of Buck Institute and colleagues report these findings in a new study published August 15, 2019 in PLOS Genetics.
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate.
A first-of-its-kind study by a team that included the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and Purdue University scientists finds that non-native invasive insects and diseases are reducing the amount of carbon stored in trees across the United States.
Researchers from the University of Kansas have described three genera and 17 new species of water scavenger beetles from the Guiana and Brazilian Shield regions of South America.
Colorado State University researchers found that mosquitoes that could transmit the virus were abundant in feedlots and at nearby sites in Northern Colorado.
Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees -- such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer -- Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle.
Researchers show beneficial relationship between 'sticky' tobacco plants and helpful insects that consume tobacco pests.
Researchers identified a gene in fruit flies that helps prevent the hyperexcitability of specific neurons that trigger seizures. In humans, mutations in the gene may be linked to seizures associated with Long QT Syndrome. A research team led by Yehuda Ben-Shahar of Washington University in St. Louis report these findings in a paper published Aug. 8, 2019 in PLOS Genetics.
'Hydrostatic legless jumping' launches a 3-millimeter maggot of a goldenrod gall midge 20-30 body-lengths away with acceleration rivalling the best legged leapers. The larva latches its head to its tail with a previously unknown adhesive and squeezes some internal fluids into its tail section for launch pressure. This style of flight is about 28 times more efficient than crawling, a finding that may intrigue soft robotics.
Legless gall midge larvae (maggots) that emerge early from their gall homes have an amazing escape strategy; they leap despite their lack of limbs. Curling its body into a loop, each maggot presses down on the rear portion of its body, which forms an improvised limb that presses on the ground to propel the creature into the air. In addition, leaping is 28 times more efficient than crawling over the same distance.