A Temperature Rise has an Impact on Insects’ Appetite for Wheat, Rice, and Corn
The temperature rise can have an impact on those hungry caterpillars which could get even hungrier. According to a recent research due to temperature rise, insects develop a great appetite for rice, corn, and wheat.
According to Curtis Deutsch of the University of Washington in Seattle, insects will be “eating more of our lunch.” Based on the heat, insects’ metabolism changes and their reproduction is greater than usual. Curtis and his colleagues estimated that each degree Celsius of warmer temperatures means an extra 10% to 25% of damage to rice, maize, and wheat.
Insects already damage 8% of the world’s maize and 14% of wheat each year. If the Earth’s global temperature is higher by 2 degrees above the pre-industrial level, the world’s annual crop losses could reach approximately 10% for maize, 17% for rice and 12% for wheat. In total, that would be a loss of about 213 million tons for the grains combined.
Due to higher temperatures, insects burn energy faster, they require more food and they reproduce earlier.
Curtis Deutsch said: “I don’t want people to think this is a sky-is-falling story.” Hungry insects will not wipe out all crops entirely. On the other hand, any food loss can have consequences for people who lack basic food.
How Venomous Animals Can Benefit Us
Venomous animals are admired and feared, and their venoms were used for both impair and benefit of human health.
In 326 GCE, Alexander the Great was introduced to the lethal arrowhead in India. Based on the symptoms of dying soldiers the arrowheads were laced with venom from Russell’s viper. On the other hand, snake venom was used in Ayurvedic medicine since the 7 the century BCE. The snake venom was used to treat gastrointestinal ailments and arthritis. Tarantulas venom was used in the traditional medicine of tribes of Mexico and South America.
Today, venoms are often a part of drugs. Recent studies have suggested an impressive diversity of venoms that can be used as a therapeutic drug.
There are more than 220 000 known venomous species which is 15% of all known animal biodiversity on Earth. Venomous animals inhabit all terrestrial and marine habitats from desert snakes and scorpions to jellyfish and Antarctic sea anemones. Most of the venomous animals haven’t been studied. The main reason for lack of studies is a lack of appropriate technologies for studying a small amount of venom that can be extracted from one small animal. The recent scientific revolution in omics technologies has enabled scientists to study venoms from animals that are small or rare.
The technology can be the first step to discover how venom in animals can be beneficial to human health.
The Massive Dust Storm on Mars
After a massive Martian dust storm, NASA has its fingers crossed that the Opportunity rover will soon send a signal to planet Earth.
The opportunity was detected in Mars Perseverance Valley when it was caught in a dust storm that was active on the entire planet. Although now sunlight can reach the solar panels placed on the rover, Opportunity is in sleep mode. NASA has not heard anything from the rover since June 10th 2018.
Observations from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter proves that the dust is now settled. Once the Opportunity rover is exposed to enough sunlight to wake up, NASA will try to communicate with the rover. If NASA’s team doesn’t hear anything from the rover in the next 45 days, they will assume that the Opportunity rover did not survive the storm. In case there is a thick debris of dust covering the rover’s solar panels, NASA has to wait for the dust to sweep off. Therefore, even after 45 days, NASA will keep listening for any possible signs and signal from Opportunity.
From the other side, even if the team hears back from the rover, that is no guarantee that the vehicle can continue its exploration. The stormy and cold weather followed by dust can cause enough damage to put the rover out of commission.
In the last 14 years, Opportunity trekked more than 45 kilometers of the Red Planet, making marvelous discoveries such as the evidence of past water on Mars.