Category Archives: Physiology

What are carpet beetles doing on my cilantro?

Written by Joe Ballenger Dear Entomologist, Could you please help with a bug question. I found many small bugs on my cilantro flowers which look like carpet beetles. Should I be worried about them in my vegetable garden and or … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Pest Management, Physiology, Pollination | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

If I am allergic to honeybees, am I also allergic to other bees?

Post written by Joe Ballenger     Does the allergy to honeybee stings carry over to other bees like the bumblebees and carpenter bees? Allergies are very complicated, but they also effect a lot of people. So this is a topic … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microcephaly, Zika, correlation, and causation: the science behind CDC’s confirmation of Zika and microcephaly

Written by Joe Ballenger I’m still following the Zika/Microcephaly literature. I’m not writing about every paper which comes out, but I am writing about the ones I feel are pretty important. The most recent ‘big paper’ came out in the … Continue reading

Posted in News, Pest Management, Physiology, Research | Leave a comment

Why do some insects pee sugar?

So let’s unpack this one, because insect pee (watery poop, actually) is really interesting in every way. Here’s a video of what Anastasia was talking about: If you want to see more insects doing this, look for Insect Honeydew on … Continue reading

Posted in Physiology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Questions about head lice.

Written by Joe Ballenger We get a lot of questions about lice, and these are really important. On Biofortified, I wrote an article about head louse treatments that was relatively depressing. There are a lot of companies which market louse … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Pest Management, Physiology, Research | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Did metamorphosis evolve through hybridization? A scientific cautionary tale.

Written by Joe Ballenger This question, received through our Facebook page, is one that actually hits close to home for me because it involves one of my scientific idols: This dates back to a paper published in 2009, one which … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Developmental Biology, Evolution, Physiology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is Oxitec using tetracycline for a genetic switch? Why not something else?

Written by Joe Ballenger Here’s where we get to the meat of the question our follower asked…why use the antibiotic tetracycline as a switch? Why not something else? Last week, we discussed a system which could potentially work for this … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Pest Management, Physiology, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments