Category Archives: Research

Why is spider silk so strong? Can we scale it up?

Written by Joe Ballenger Hi, I’m on a Lego League team with my school and we are wanting to know more about spiders for our research project. Some questions I hope you can help us with are, what makes a … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Culture, Ecology, Economics, Physiology, Research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interacting With Ekbom’s sufferers: Guidelines from the dermatology literature.

Infestations can be very difficult to handle in online science outreach projects. We do our best to give the best possible advice, but ultimately it’s an issue where you need boots on the ground. During our infestation post, we mentioned … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Education, News, Pest Management, Research | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s a lot of misinformation about spider bites on the internet…and some of it comes from academic websites.

Written by Joe Ballenger October is an important time for spiders. Spiders sleep through the winter, and right about now is when they’re looking for places to hunker down. Consequently, we get a lot of pictures of spiders in people’s … Continue reading

Posted in News, Research | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

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

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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

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

So let’s talk about another type of GMO for a minute…

We’ve gotten this question, and it’s a really good question, but I didn’t initially understand what the person was asking. I knew what they were getting at-why is Oxitec using a tetracycline dependent system-but I wanted to wait for them … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Education, Evolution, Insect Rearing, Pest Management, Physiology, Research | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment