Insect cells serve as valuable testing tools for research and development in a variety of fields and industries, with the global count of established cell lines now at more than 1,200. A new database allows scientists to find and identify insect cell lines that could best match their research goals.
A recent review showcases the myriad ways insects can serve as an artistic medium. Explore some of these examples, ranging from beeswax sculptures to scale-insect dyes.
Dubbed a "living fossil" by researchers, the Yao silkworm has been domesticated in virtual isolation for a millennium by the Baiku Yao ethnic group in China. New genetic research on the strain finds that the Yao silkworm is a primitive form of the domestic silkworm species Bombyx mori and more distantly related to other wild silkworm species.
A study in Brazil finds that a common fungicide can impair the oxygen consumption and silk production of silkworms if applied to their preferred food source, mulberry leaves.
The silkworm (Bombyx mori) is a unique economic insect, and it also offers promise as a model organism for life-science research.