Caught in the Bug Net: 2.22.08

International Insect eating!

Chiang Mai, Thailand – With over 1 400 insect species eaten by humans worldwide, the insect world offers promising possibilities both commercially and nutritionally, FAO said today. A workshop organized by FAO this week will discuss the potential for developing insects in the Asia and Pacific region.

Edited to add: Ugly Overload has an awesome photo

Is a Great Lakes Environmental pollution report being suppressed?

“Lawmakers are again asserting that the Bush Administration is meddling in science. House Science Committee Democrats charge that federal officials have suppressed a report on potential health threats from pollution in the Great Lakes. They also say officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, may have punished a career federal scientist who oversaw it. CDC says the report had genuine scientific flaws.”

Juvenile hormone regulates larval color pattern

“Young caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus, are mimics of bird droppings, whereas the fifth larval instar is camouflaged among the leaves of host plants (cryptic pattern). We find that juvenile hormone (JH) titers decrease during the fourth larval instar. Furthermore, treatment with JH analog at the beginning of the fourth instar stage resulted in reproducing the mimetic pattern instead ofthe usual cryptic one and likewise altered gene expression patterns to that associated with the mimetic pattern. “

Check out the wonderful graphics on that paper–WOW!

Are the eye patterns on butterflies really mimicry?

“Circular markings on creatures such as butterflies are effective against predators because they are conspicuous features, not because they mimic the eyes of the predators’ own enemies, according to research published today in the journal Behavioral Ecology.”

And remember me mentioning in Skeptics’ Circle that a homeopath was harassing Quackometer? Well, they got his IP to boot him off his server. Bastards.

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