How Sex and Scientific Research Saved Your Steak Dinner (and Bambi) From the Screwworm Fly—Again

screwworm fly

By Susan J. Weller, Ph.D., and Robert K.D. Peterson, Ph.D. If there is one thing that we have learned from scientific research, it’s this: We cannot know where the next breakthrough will come from, but maintaining adequate funding for our nation’s scientific researchers is money well-spent. As an example, consider the screwworm fly in the […]

Control of West Indian Sweetpotato Weevils Informed by Their Mating Behavior

By John P. Roche West Indian sweetpotato weevils (Euscepes postfasciatus) are costly pests of sweetpotato plants (Ipomoea batatas) in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Entomologists in the Ryukyu Islands within the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan are implementing a sterile insect technique (SIT) program for eradicating West Indian sweetpotato weevils. SIT uses […]

Genetically Modified Screwworm Flies May Enhance Sterile Insect Technique

Since the 1950s, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been used to control screwworm flies and other insects. This technique currently involves irradiating male and female insects to make them sterile, and then releasing them to mate with fertile insects. Now an article published in the journal BMC Biology suggests that populations of New World […]

Researchers Raise Maggots on Chicken Blood to Save Darwin’s Finches

By Meredith Swett Walker In 1676, the great scientist Isaac Newton (of gravity fame) wrote a letter to another scientific titan, Robert Hooke (who had coined the biological term “cell”), in which he humbly stated, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Even in using that line he was […]

Infrared Photography Shows Tsetse Fly Development from Pupa to Adult

By Ed Ricciuti Researchers employing near infrared still photographs and time-lapse video have peered into the pupa of the living tsetse fly and for the first time have watched its development unfold from its start as a larva to its completion and emergence as an adult. The research is described in the Journal of Insect […]