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VIDEO: Citizen Scientists Aid Researchers in Studying Camel Crickets

MJEpps CricketsThey may bounce really high and look strange, but don't worry, they are harmless...they even scavenge for crumbs off of your floor! A continental-scale citizen science campaign was launched in order to study the spread and frequency of native and nonnative camel crickets in human homes across North America.

Mary Jane Epps, PhD, an author of the paper, went into more detail about the study and significance of citizen scientists in an interview with Katie-Leigh Corder, web managing editor.


VIDEO: Cleaner than Clean: Understanding the Grooming Habits of Termites in Japan

Many unfortunate homeowners in the United States, around 600,000 to be exact, will discover these pesky and TermitesOEhard-to-control insects snacking away at their homes. On top of that, it's estimated that $5 billion a year will be spent to control these insects and repair damage. What are these common, yet unwanted insects? Termites!

The United States isn't the only country that deals with them. In Japan, termites are also a major source of structural damage, costing an estimated $1 billion per year in control and repair. Japanese homes are predominately made of wood, as are a number of its cultural heritage sites.

Dr. Aya Yanagawa discusses how she and her colleagues research ways to more effectively control termites in Japan. Biological pathogens and odors show strong potential for getting rid of them, but as Dr. Yanagawa describes, understanding the insect's grooming behavior is key in increasing the pathogens's effects.



ANIMATION: Drawn Together by the Casimir Effect

2014-07PintoFp283.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

How and why does the Casimir effect take place? This animation interprets what happens to the electromagnetic field because of quantum effects and virtual photons, to show what results when two plates are brought close together in such an environment.

 

 



VIDEO: Scientific Artwork Attracts Human and Arthropod Alike

Love Motel for Insects

Humans are bitten and stung by them, and sometimes have their gardens and crops eaten or even destroyed by these little organisms. Insects are everywhere and have a bad reputation with many people. But without them, the terrestrial environment would fall into chaos.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society exhibited scientific artwork created by artist and ecologist Brandon Ballengée, PhD, at an event in Research Triangle Park, NC, in July 2014. Named Love Motel for Insects, the goal of these renowned sculptures is to attract insects and allow humans to get a closer look while learning about their role in Earth's ecosystems.


VIDEO: Saving the Honeybee with Genetics and Beekeeping

Bishop with beehivesThe disappearance of honeybees continues to make headlines in the news and science journals, but are their numbers still dwindling, and if so, what are the causes?

Dr. Jack Bishop, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and a hobby beekeeper, discusses the external influences that are linked to bee population decline, as well as ways to help honeybees thrive.



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