There has been a huge increase in bedbug infestations – in homes, hotels, dorm rooms and even movie theaters. Once a pest of the past, bedbugs now infest every state in the U.S. Many bedbugs are now resistant to pesticides, so getting rid of these pests is neither easy nor cheap.
Now microbiologists are using a fungus called Beauveria bassiana, a natural organism that causes disease in insects, against these blood-sucking pests.
This is really, really clever, but I do have a problem with this sentence, the first one when you click through to “read more.”
A fungus is a kind of microbe, different from bacteria and viruses.
A fungus can be a microbe, but not all fungi are microbes. Perhaps this specific fungus is a microbe, but given that the world’s largest living organism is a fungus in Oregon that occupies more than 2,300 acres. It is believed to be over 2,400 years old. So, nitpicking aside (ugh, sorry) this fungus-based insecticide could be a really great step forward in combating these horribly icky pests. ~AR
On this first really cold day of the season, I like to think back to what was probably the hottest day of the summer. In what seemed like a good idea at the time, we visited the New York Botanical Gardens.
We couldn’t decide which was hotter, the rainforest…
Back in 1583, scientists still had a lot to learn about mold. Andrea Cesalpino created a seminal work, De Plantis, which marked the revival of plant studies after the Middle Ages, but missed the mark about mold, suspecting they were spread by crystals instead of…