Skepchick Quickies, 8.29

Mary is under the weather, so Rebecca has foolishly allowed me to take over the quickies for today! I present: SC quickies, Invertebrate Style.  Muahahahahahaha!  *strokes pet mantis evilly*

Corn Rootworms, the leading pest of corn, are now resistant to genetically modified corn. I especially liked this explanation:

“’It’s an unfortunate consequence of the overuse of good technology,’ …. Gray related the overuse of the corn strain Cry3Bb1 to the overuse of antibiotics in medical practices. When an antibiotic is used too often, the infection will develop a resistance to it.”

Some happy news from the Sudan: Guinea worm may finally be eradicated.

Insect wings are thin and fragile-looking–but also incredibly strong. How do they do that?

Do you think these glow-in-the-dark roaches look more like Jawas or Eva from Wall-e? And how can we get all roaches to glow?

Sadly, this wonderful giant insect robot project is included in this list of “16 Kickstarter projects that will destroy civilization.”  I would like to point out the giant insect robot will NOT be equipped with deadly lasers. At least, not initially.

Why do spiders dance?  Also, TROGLORAPTOR is the best name for a new species EVARRRRR.

The lovely image of a peacock spider is courtesy of Jurgen Otto. If you haven’t already checked out his videos of dancing spiders, you should do so!


Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. Re: Glowing Roaches – Nononono. All roaches should not glow. The last thing I need is to wake up in the middle of the night and see glowy things crawling around. I will die of fright. FRIGHT I TELL YOU.

    1. Growing up in the latter half of the Cold War, I always just assumed all roaches would glow in the dark some day. Just, well, I wouldn’t be around to see ’em.

  2. Yes! More Bug girl! *Prepares his squadron of ninja Dragonflies for her evil plans*

    Loving this line from the dancing spiders: “Elias discovered that seismic songs serve as more than background music for jumping spider courtship. Rather, they help the female decide between “Yes” and “NOM NOM NOM.””

  3. Kickstarter projects are dangerous. First it’s all “We need $10 000 dollars to make this cute robot”, then all of a sudden it’s “The internet gave us $35 million! What will we do with it? How much does a used, Russian ICBM cost?”

    1. Used Russian ICBMs are usually crushed at the bottom of small craters in Siberia or at the bottom of the Pacific. You don’t want a used one.

      What you want is a decommissioned, obsolete ICBM. Watch out for those Ebay auctions! And be sure to pay for regular surface shipping. If they offer free overnight delivery, DON’T TAKE IT!

  4. My niece* painted a fantastic picture of a dancing spider in kindergarten. It is having so much fun, one of its sneakers is flying off. (She loves spiders. She once kissed a spider because “… but it was soooo cute.”)

    [*]Have I ever mentioned my nieces before?

  5. That article on the Guinea worm really made my day. I’ve been watching the Polio eradication effort with great interest, but I’d never heard of this one. I hadn’t really thought it could get much better than, a few years from now, Polio becoming the second disease to be eradicated, but there is something better: for Polio to become the third disease eradicated, on the same time scale.

    1. 2nd human disease… Rinderpest, a cattle disease, was officially eradicated last year. Unfortunately, a vaccine-preventable disease that evolved from it, most likely some time in the last millennium, is still common, mostly due to anti-vax, pro-death morons. That disease is the measles, a horrible disease according to Dr. Martin Ellingham of Portwenn, UK.

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