Tag Archives: Biochemistry

Do male insects have sex hormones?

Written by Joe Ballenger This is a really good question, for a number of reasons. There are sources which claim that male insects don’t contain sex hormones, but as far as I can tell, this goes back to a 1995 … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Developmental Biology, Pest Management, Physiology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Brown Widows as Dangerous as Black Widows?

Written by Joe Ballenger As a rule, Widows have pretty nasty venom. I was knocked on my butt for about 3 days after a bite I received from a Southern Widow (Lactrodectus mactans) after mishandling her. These sorts of incidents … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Pest Management, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Do insects feel pain?

The last two questions we tackled revolved around the cognitive abilities (communication, and personality) of arthropods, specifically insects and spiders. These are really tough questions to tackle because a lot of people, even (especially?) those who genuinely like insects and … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Cockroach milk is not the next superfood. It could be a lot more important than that.

Written by Joe Ballenger A number of articles circulating everywhere online are claiming that a new ‘superfood’ has been found in cockroaches, and although I’m happy popular culture is focusing on the fact cockroaches are good moms…they’re missing a far … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Culture, Developmental Biology, News, Physiology | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Do insects have personalities?

Written by Joe Ballenger After our spider post, I thought it would be nice to tackle this question because these questions open one of the biggest rabbit holes in the field of insect science: Since you are the experts, my … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Mythwits podcast: How do parasites do the whole mind-control thing on their hosts, and does this happen in people?

Written by Joe Ballenger Recently, we had a chance to do another awesome podcast with the wonderful guys at Mythwits. First, I should probably mention that this is a very casual podcast…which means it’s Not Safe for Work. Besides the … Continue reading

Posted in Physiology, Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mosquitoes love cheese! Here’s why.

This week’s post is not a direct user submission, but it’s a picture that’s so neat that I wanted to highlight it with it’s own blog post. The picture is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a picture of a mosquito attempting to … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment