Caterpillars are bleeding defensive! Insects are known to lack an antibody-mediated immune response, and research in caterpillars has recently shown that, instead, they produce protective proteins in response to bacterial infection. The pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and antibacterial effectors produced at a first infection still function to protect against a repeated challenge. These results raise important issues in insect research which will be reported by Dr. Ioannis Eleftherianos at the Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona on Wednesday 13th of July.
After being fed on a diet of antibiotics, hawkmoth (Manduca sexta) caterpillars were infected by non-pathogenic bacteria (E. coli), followed by exposure to a second, but lethal insect pathogen (Photorhabdus). Investigation of their blood then showed that antibacterial peptides were being produced by the so-called ‘fat-body’, an organ specialised in protein production. These proteins appear to be able to persist from the initial benign E. coli infection and then confer resistance against the second, usually lethal, infection by the pathogen. Using RNAi techniques workers at the University of Bath have shown that several different proteins can confer this protective effect against subsequent infections.
Micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and nematodes are often used as biocontrol agents against insects. It had always been assumed that insects in the field would be naïve to such control agents but these results raise the possibility that control with one pathogen may confer resistance to another. Most experiments on insect immunity are conducted in the laboratory on insects often fed on antibiotic containing diet so these results suggest that the immune response of insect constantly exposed to pathogens in the field may be very different from all the work described in the laboratory. This raises new challenges for the field and places into question the relevance of laboratory based studies on immunity.
Diana van Gent | alfa
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine