In a world where 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, insect pests consume 20-30 percent of world food crops. Chemical pesticides are increasingly expensive, ineffective and environmentally aggressive, killing beneficial insects and, when transmitted through the food chain, moving in unwanted directions.
The search for eco-friendly bio-insecticides has focused mainly on developing transgenic crops that express natural protein toxins. The most successful, by far, are crops that express the toxin from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). However the widespread use of BT transgenics has raised new—and contradictory—concerns; farmers fear the rapid evolution of BT-resistant insects and some consumers fear the rapid marketing of transgenic foods.
In the search for alternatives, scientists are revisiting a ‘natural’ biological control strategy used by insecticidal bacteria that live symbiotically with “entomopathogenic” nematodes. That’s a mouthful to describe an insect-killing bacterium that lives inside an unaffected worm host. The classic example is the bacterium, Xenorhabdus nematophila (X. nematophila; Latin for “loves nematodes”) and nematodes of the genus, Steinernema. Bacterium-nematode teams live almost their entire lifecycle inside larval-stage insects. The Xenorhabdus-Steinernema (‘X-S’) team is being used successfully to combat Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera pests.
Another piece of Ebola virus puzzle identified
17.01.2019 | Texas Biomedical Research Institute
New scale for electronegativity rewrites the chemistry textbook
17.01.2019 | Chalmers University of Technology
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
16.01.2019 | Event News
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17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy