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Current Moth News and Events, Moth News Articles.
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Global warming may cause songbirds to avoid certain foods
In another example of the far-reaching impact of global warming, a URI student found evidence that suggests some songbirds may avoid eating insects that consume leaves exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide. (2004-01-26)

Sometimes no result is good result for science
Researchers found that the rate of virus replication in tissue culture was not affected when MTase1 was removed. The finding is important as researchers look for what proteins are essential and how they function in cells, potentially providing answers to everything from insect control to the control of human diseases such as smallpox. (2003-03-27)

Could Bt transgenic crops have nutritionally favourable effects on insects?
An article published in Ecology Letters, March presents an idea that larvae of some resistant populations of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), may be able to use Cry1Ac toxin derived from Bt as a supplementary food protein. Bt transgenic crops could therefore have unanticipated nutritionally favourable effects, increasing the fitness of resistant populations. This idea is discussed in the context of the evolution of resistance to Bt transgenic crops. (2003-03-12)

Insect antibiotics - Resistance is futile!
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that Cecropin A, a member of a family of antibiotic proteins produced by insects, may kill bacteria and avoid resistance by entering bacterial cells and taking control of their genetic machinery. The findings challenge conventional thinking on how these antibiotics function, and may aid in turning antimicrobial peptides like Cecropin A into therapeutic agents. (2003-02-06)

Expert talks on invasive species Wednesday in D.C.
Susan Williams, UC Davis professor of environmental science and director of Bodega Marine Laboratory, will address leaders of major environmental non-government agencies on Wednesday (Dec. 11) about unique contributions they can make to the battle against invasive species. (2002-12-10)

To thin or not to thin
Recent studies show that thinning of young forests can benefit the development of old-growth characteristics and the diversity of plants and animals, but only if methods are used that protect and promote the development of shrubs, hardwoods, and large or old trees. (2002-11-21)

Study offers a rare view of how species interactions evolve
The complicated relationship between a common wildflower and a little gray moth is yielding new insights into how species coevolve, with implications for the conservation of biodiversity. (2002-06-12)

Insect pest of potatoes Tecia solanivora hits crops in Latin America and the Canary Islands
Lepidopteran Tecia solanivora, an insect pest, is currently devastating potato crops in Latin and Central America. Equador is particularly badly hit. A research team from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Catholic Pontifical University of Equador (PUCE, Quito) try to define biological control strategies and procedures against populations of this pest. (2002-05-14)

Predators drive evolution of virtual prey appearance
Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln biologists have made the first direct observations to support a long-standing idea: that predators' behavior can promote variation in the appearance of insect prey species, and restrict their search to the most abundant prey types. (2002-02-07)

Flower chemicals attract some insects but deter others with toxic warning
When some insects zero in on a flower for nectar, their ultraviolet vision is guided by a bull's-eye (2001-11-19)

View of forest insects changing from pests to partners
The massive insect epidemics that have plagued western forests in recent years are mostly a reflection of poor forest health conditions, overcrowding, overuse of chemicals, fire suppression and introduction of monocultures or non-native species. Beyond that, these insect attacks are actually nature's mechanism to help restore forest health and in many cases should be allowed to run their course. (2001-10-30)

Plants, insects play cat and mouse game
Plants and insects play a far more intricate game than we suspect, says a University of Toronto researcher in the journal Science this month. Likening the game to one of cat and mouse, botany professor Anurag Agrawal suggests that both plants and insects have the inherent ability to adjust their behaviour - going so far as to alter their physiology and chemistry - in reaction to other species. (2001-10-24)

Caterpillars make noise to fend off intruders, researchers discover
Caterpillars defend their homes by drumming up vibrations with their mandibles to drive intruders away, scientists say. At times, the nest-owner and intruder engage in duels that create a symphony of drum-like sounds. (2001-09-28)

California gnatcatcher: Umbrella species failure?
Protecting (2001-09-20)

Scientists find genetic basis of insect's resistance to engineered crops
Some experts fear that increased use of bioengineered crops with built-in insecticides could backfire and actually spur the development of genetically resistant pests. But a team of geneticists from NC State and other universities has identified a gene that confers resistance in a common pest - a discovery which will allow farmers and government officials to take early steps to prevent resistance outbreaks. The geneticists studied the DNA of the tobacco budworm moth. (2001-08-02)

NTP plans to look at common viruses, radiation, cooking by-products for new carcinogen report
The National Toxicology Program announced today it plans to review three viruses, three forms of radiation, two substances formed in cooking, and a variety of industrial exposures for possible listing in the eleventh edition of the federal Report on Carcinogens, which will be published in 2004. (2001-07-24)

Moth larvae would rather starve than switch
The larvae of Manduca sexta, a moth nicknamed the tobacco hornworn, can become so chemically dependent to one of their favorite foods -- the leaves of eggplant, or potato and tomato plants -- that they would rather starve to death than eat leaves from other plants. (Nature, May 10, 2001.) (2001-05-08)

Chemistry in the Amazon: Tropical birds, Amazonian tribespeople derive medicinal benefits from insects, plants
Eloy Rodriguez, professor of environmental studies at Cornell University discusses how tropical birds and Amazonian tribespeople derive medicinal benefits from insects and plants, and the interconnection between the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of human and animal health. (2001-03-25)

Global online workshop on risks of exotic forest pests will be "live" in mid-April
Taking advantage of the international capabilities of the Internet to address a global issue, a workshop and symposium entitled (2001-03-04)

Risks of exotic forest pests and their impact on trade
A workshop and symposium entitled (2001-02-28)

All specialized insect predators not suitable for biological control
An enemy is an enemy is an enemy, but some natural enemies are better than others at controlling prey populations and some enemies are ineffective, even though they are specialized, according to a Penn State entomologist. (2001-02-20)

Understanding of floral scents blossoms in Purdue laboratory
Modern plant breeding has caused many of the most popular flowers to lose much of the scent of their ancestors. Now, Natalia Dudareva, assistant professor of reproductive biology in the Department of Horticulture at Purdue University, has found new insights into the biology of floral scents. (2000-07-09)

Peer review set for NTP Studies May 18
Recent safety studies by the National Toxicology Program will be peer-reviewed at an open public meeting by a subcommittee of the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors on May 18. (2000-05-15)

Study finds children are exposed to pesticides
Pre-school children in agricultural communities may be exposed to high levels of pesticides. University of Washington scientists found that 56 percent of children of farm workers had exposures beyond federal levels to a pesticide. The rate of exposure among children whose parents were not farm workers was still 44 percent. (2000-04-23)

Field refuges prevent moth's resistance to genetic insecticides
Cornell University scientists have demonstrated that creating a refuge of unprotected plants in a crop field reduces the chance of insects developing resistance to transgenic insecticidal plants, the researchers report in the March 2000 issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology. (2000-03-02)

New tool for comparative gene studies
A great deal is known about how model organisms such as fruit flies, nematodes and mice develop. But what about beetles, frogs, and birds? Scientists who study gene function in non- model organisms may get a boost from a new technique developed by Nipam Patel, Ph.D., assistant professor of organismal biology & anatomy and Howard Hughes Investigator at the University of Chicago. (1999-11-17)

Study: Insecticide sprays can target feeding habits of pests
Farmers may be able to spray insecticide to target the feeding habits of species that most threaten their crops, according to an Ohio State University study. Researchers have developed a method to predict the combination of insecticide concentration, droplet size, and droplet number most lethal for a particular species. (1999-11-15)

Purdue Scientist Wants To Find Out What Went Sour With Flowers
Flower researcher Natalia Dudareva is on the scent of a mysterious disappearance. She is one of the few scientists in the world who is working to find out why flowers have less scent than they used to. (1999-05-13)

Male Moth's Sperm Protects Females
An enduring nuptial gift is included in every sperm package from a male rattlebox moth (Utetheisa ornatrix) to his freshly mated female: a potent, plant-derived chemical that protects her for life against predatory spiders, biologists at Cornell University have discovered. (1999-05-10)

Successful 'Green' Solvent Found For Problematic Chemicals
In the search for less hazardous manufacturing solvents, researchers at the Universities of Notre Dame and Pittsburgh report in the May 6, 1999, issue of Nature a new process to separate problematic chemicals from ionic liquids. (1999-05-06)

Dyed In The Silkworm: Researchers Develop Novel Way To Produce Colored Silk
In the March 1 issue of Genes & Development, researchers in Japan report the development of a technique to produce genetically altered silk fibers that are spun by the silkworm. The development of an insect system to produce foreign proteins has significant potential applications for economically important proteins. (1999-03-12)

Biologist Wins Simon Fraser University Controversy Prize For 'Silent Spring' Of The '90s
A compelling book about our futile, ongoing war against insects and other pests has earned Simon Fraser University biologist Mark Winston the university's 1998 Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy. The annual $5,000 prize honors and encourages work that publicly challenges conventional wisdom on issues of broad social concern. (1998-07-30)

Do Termites Use
Just as humans may use naphthalene (1998-05-01)

Cut Pesticide Use In Half, Urges SFU Biologist
The use of chemical pesticides in North American can and should be reduced by at least 50 per cent, says Simon Fraser University biologist Mark Winston, author of a new book, Nature Wars: People vs. Pests (Harvard University Press), a persuasive indictment of our ongoing -- and futile -- chemical battle to rid ourselves of the animals and plants we consider pests. (1997-11-28)

Oaks' Defenses Help Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Fend Off Virus
The relationship between gypsy moth caterpillars, the virus that kills them and the oak leaves they feast on is more complicated than expected, and leaf enzymes as well as tannins play an important role, according to a Penn State entomologist. (1997-08-14)

First-Of-A-Kind Study By University Of Georgia Ecologist Estimates Role Of Natural Forces On Insect Populations
Determining the reasons for the cyclic rise and fall of insect populations has been extremely difficult. Now, for the first time, a University of Georgia ecologist has assigned numerical estimates to the forces that cause these cycles. (1997-08-13)

Stealth Caterpillar Evades Trees' Detection
The forest tent caterpillar's eating habits may be the key to their ability to strip leaves without triggering the tree's defense mechanisms, according to a Penn State entomologist. (1997-08-07)

Ash Tree Yields Potent Weapons In The War On Gypsy Moths
A ubiquitous tree that graces many city and suburban streets has given scientists an arsenal of new chemicals with which to fight the gypsy moth, one of the world's most feared defoliators. (1996-07-24)

Mediterranean Insects Brought Here To Control Field Bindweed
Having proved they could live through last winter's sub-zero temperatures, tiny Mediterranean mites are again being unleashed by USDA researchers to attack field bindweed, which infests millions of acres of wheat, corn and other crops particularly in thePacific Northwest (1996-07-12)

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