The local discovery of a species of fly not native to the Midwest could have significant implications on forensic investigations involving decomposing remains, according to a forensic biology researcher at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
This new fly species, Chrysomya Megacephala, is not native to Indiana but was found last fall in Indianapolis. Its discovery could impact forensic investigations.
Christine Picard, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology in the School of Science at IUPUI, discovered the fly, Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius (C. megacephala), during a routine collection of fly samples in late September 2012. Until now, entomologists had never documented the fly farther north than New Mexico.
“Although I only found a single fly of this species, this is an important event in the area of forensics,” said Picard, also a faculty member in the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at IUPUI. “Because this fly is not typically found here, we don’t know how it develops here, how to use that data or how it could affect the precision and accuracy of forensic investigations.”
The growth and development of flies play an important role for scientists looking to learn how long a human or other animal has been dead. When a new species is introduced, scientists or investigators may be at a disadvantage because of the little data that exists locally on that species.
C. megacephala breeds in the decomposing flesh of animals or discarded organic materials and has the potential to carry disease. Its existence could negatively impact the native species of flies as well, changing the dynamics of this highly specialized ecosystem.
“This discovery tells us as researchers that there is a new fly we have to consider, especially when we’re processing casework samples.” Picard said.
The fly specimen currently is stored at the Purdue University Entomological Collection, and it is the only one of its kind in its vast inventory. Picard’s discovery will be published in the July edition of the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington journal.
This particular fly, native to Asia and Africa, first was documented in 1988 in the United States. Until now, it had been contained to the southern states, where the warmer climate allows it to grow and breed. The mild winter and long, drought-stricken summer of 2012 in Indiana likely contributed to the fly moving this far north, Picard said.
As average temperatures continue to increase, Picard predicts this will not be the last time Indiana sees this fly.
“This fly has the potential to become a dominant fly species in this area,” Picard said. “The changing climate conditions show us that we should never really stop collecting samples. We will be on the lookout this summer for more of this particular fly.”
David Hosick | EurekAlert!
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences