The hide, recently developed by scientists in Switzerland, consists of a skin-like silicone membrane, complete with hair that rests over a layer of cow blood. The insects are so comfortable with the faux-cow that they set up home, copulate and laid eggs.
But it is knee trembling of a different kind that researchers measure to evaluate the early signs of pesticide toxicity. Researchers use the leg tremblings of the tick (Ioxedes ricinus) to observe the early stages of central nervous system damage, something that is not possible using live animals.
Thomas Kröber and Patrick Guerin at the University of Neuchâtel confirmed the effectiveness of the system by coating the membrane with the chemical firponil, and then observing central nerve system damage (leg trembling) and measuring tick mortality (Pest Management Science DOI:10.1002/ps.1293).
Vicky Robinson, chief executive of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, said: 'This research takes a simple idea and applies it to great effect, resulting in a potentially significant impact on animal use. Most importantly, it demonstrates that finding ways to reduce the use of animals in research and testing is as much about improving the science as it is about considering the welfare of animals.’
More than 10,000 animals are used every year to test new tick-fighting chemicals, a figure that is likely to increase with the introduction of REACH, the EU new chemicals legislation, next year. Pesticides targeting ticks are constantly being updated and tested, because pests develop resistance so quickly. Ticks transmit several serious diseases to both animals and humans, including Lyme disease.
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
26.07.2017 | Event News
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28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.07.2017 | Life Sciences