Don’t stop and smell the roses: "blinding" an insect’s sense of smell may be the best repellent, according to research by Rockefeller University scientists "Pest insects have a profound negative impact on agriculture and human health," says Rockefeller University’s Leslie Vosshall, Ph.D. "They are responsible for global losses of crops and stored agricultural products as well as the spread of many diseases."
In the heated battle between people and insect pests, Vosshall and colleagues, in collaboration with the biotech company Sentigen Biosciences, Inc., report in the February 22nd issue of Current Biology that an understanding of insects’ sense of smell may finally give humans the upper hand.
The researchers studied four very different insect species: a benign insect favored by researchers, the fruit fly, which is attracted to rotting fruit, and three pest insects: the medfly, which is a citrus pest; the corn earworm moth, which damages corn, cotton and tomato crops; and the malaria mosquito, which targets humans. They found that one gene, shown to be responsible for the sense of smell in fruit flies, has the same function in these pest insects, which are separated by over 250 million years evolution
Kristine Kelly | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
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A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
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