Genetically modified moths pass greenhouse testing ready for the wild

first_img Parasitoid larvae in caterpillars affect behaviour of moths Diamondback moth. Credit: Olei/Wikipedia/CC-BY-SA-2.5 and GNU FDL Citation: Genetically modified moths pass greenhouse testing, ready for the wild (2015, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-genetically-moths-greenhouse-ready-wild.html © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at British company Oxitec has developed a genetic approach to controlling diamondback moth caterpillars and report that trials in greenhouse conditions has gone so well that they are ready to conduct tests in the wild. In their paper published in the journal BMC Biology, the team describes their technique, how it works, how safe they believe it is and their hopes that their efforts will lead to reduced crop destruction by the caterpillars Diamondback moth caterpillars are one of the world’s worst insect pests—they eat holes in the leaves of kale, cabbage, canola, broccoli and cauliflower, killing the plants and causing billions in dollars of losses for farmers around the world each year. Efforts to curb them have been mixed and the caterpillars appear to be winning—they have developed immunity to most chemicals applied to kill them. For that reason scientists have looked to other ways to tackle the problem, one of which is genetic modification. The team at Oxitec, has come up with a way to cause female offspring of the moths that parent the caterpillars to die before they can reproduce, slowly causing a drop in population when they are released into a native group.In coming up with their self-limiting gene approach the team added another piece of usefulness—an off switch. The gene only self-limits in the absence of tetracycline, such as when the moth is out in the wild. To grow a community of the moths, the team need only feed them food with the chemical added. They note that their technique allows for targeting just diamondback moths, thus other insects would not be harmed—and neither would birds or other animals if they eat the moths or caterpillars.The team at Oxitec report that greenhouse environment testing has gone very well—so well in fact they are ready to test their technique in the wild—in limited releases, of course. Officials with the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. have given the go ahead for new outdoor trials in New York State. This would not be the first testing of its kind, similar genetic engineering on mosquitoes has been tested in Panama, the Cayman Islands and Brazil—in such trials insect populations have been reduced by 90 percent.center_img Journal information: BMC Biology Explore further More information: Pest control and resistance management through release of insects carrying a male-selecting transgene, BMC Biology 2015, 13:49 DOI: 10.1186/s12915-015-0161-1 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Meghalaya brings unity in diversity

Day three of the north-east festival at the Dilli Haat, kickstarted with the celebration of the harvest season. As the students of Meghalaya Union took to  the  stage, the drum beats announced the beginning of the harvesting festival. With the chorus singing the traditional harvest songs, the programme was inaugurated by Union Minister of DoNER Pawan Singh Ghatowar. The songs went on for the next ten minutes and was followed by a fashion show.The show was a collection of 34 garments done by designer Vianey B Nongram. This collection was a mix of both traditional and contemporary wear. On the runway one could see tribal attires from Garo, Hajong, Khasi, Jaintia, Pnar and Tiwa tribes.  ‘The textiles are an important highlight of the show,’ said Nongram. She added: ‘The collections are from local textiles and fabrics like Ryndia, Ghara and Khyrwang to name a few.’‘What I have brought from Meghalaya is an unique mix of traditional and contemporary, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of the unity in diversity,’ said Nongram. read more

Juvenile held for abduction and murder of 6yearold boy

first_imgA juvenile has been apprehended for the alleged abduction and murder of six-year-old boy from central Delhi’s Ranjit Nagar, police said on Saturday.The 17-year-old, who is a neighbour of the victim, also told police that he desired to purchase an expensive phone with the ransom money, said a police official.As per the police, on Thursday evening when Ganesh was playing outside his home, the accused lured the boy with some mobile games and abducted him. About 9 pm, he made a phone call to the boy’s father, Pramod, allegedly demanding Rs 1.5 lakh for the safe release of the boy.Pramod is a fruit seller and has his shop is in a central Delhi market. When he returned home on Thursday, he found his son missing and went out looking for him. Meanwhile, he received the ransom call. He had no means to pay the ransom money and so he reported the matter to the police.On Friday evening, Ganesh’s body was found in a park in south-west Delhi’s Narayana area with his throat slit. Meanwhile, police had started tracking the phone number by which the ransom call was made.last_img read more

Dare dream dance

first_imgThe first day of the two-day dancing festival Quarter Fest lll kicked off in the Capital at a high note. Sadhya- a unit of performing arts has organised this event that started off at Indian Habitat Centre on December 8. Santosh Nair is the curator of the show. The fest opened with a performance by Shreya (Production name- Padam). She used her imagery from Bharatanatyam Padams in Shringar (love), Bhakti (devotion), and Vatsalya (affection) traditions. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The piece focused on the personal process of change as she attempts to overcome her disconnect with the classical processes.Next performance was a group performance by Sadhya – Nataraj- the Lord of Dance. It was a tribute to the source of all movements- Shiva. It showcased a beautiful transformation of vision into a visual expression, reflecting Sadhya’s belief of an existence of a beautiful bonding between tradition and modernity. It bought the culture of India-that is strong and limitless, that is bound to its roots and at the same time ready to explore. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMoving further with the performance by Sanchita and Himanshu Sharma, presented the interpretation of contemporary through their production BE  which was mind full of thoughts about what, why, how when I look, observe, perceive. Day 1 ended with the performance of Rahul Goswami whose exquisite production Proximity portrayed things we cannot explain. Everything that surrounds us has a system. We form a very complex system and finding directions to go beyond is not a possibility. We need to come back to the same place. The second day began with performance by   Meghna Bhardwaj (Production- Ghetto), followed by Neha Sharma (Production- Commerce of Arts), Kamla Nehru College (Production- Yuva Yatra) and  Danceworx (Production- Heartbeat and Thithi) on December 9. The main idea behind Quarter Fest is to bring in varied styles performing the contemporary adding their own touches to it. The festival promises to bring a repertoire of works reflecting varied foundations and their unique style of drawing from the same root – contemporary dance.last_img read more

Dept to include fire safety norms in school syllabus

first_imgKolkata: The state Fire and Emergency Services department is planning to include fire safety and security measures in the school curriculum. “It is important for everyone to have knowledge about safety and security from the fire. So we are working on introducing it in the school syllabus,” state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sovan Chatterjee said at a programme on Fire Services Week at Academy of Fine Arts on Saturday. According to Chatterjee, the state government has given a major boost in developing the infrastructure of the Fire department and has set up as many as 70 fire stations across the state since 2011 after the Trinamool Congress came to power. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”We have identified some fire-prone areas and some regions where the fire tenders face difficulty to enter because of narrow lanes and bylanes. We have procured modern equipment and are still continuing to do so to fight the fire at places where it is difficult to reach,” Chatterjee said.He added that under the instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the department is procuring ladders for better fire-fighting in the high-rises. “We have already floated the tender for procuring ladders,” he said.Officials from the fire department demonstrated how preliminary fire-fighting measures may be implemented to prevent it from spreading. A number of school students and commoners were present during the demonstration. Director General of Fire Services department Jagmohan also attend the event along with other senior officials of the department.last_img read more

State adopts new tech to strengthen power distribution system

first_imgKolkata: The state Power department has started using a new technology for strengthening the power distribution system with special emphasis on quick identification of faults in electricity supply lines. “We have started using SEEDN technology, which enables us to locate the exact area of the fault as we start moving from the substation located in a particular area, from where the fault has been reported. The technology is equipped with a fault passage indicator, which helps in quick location of the electric pole, where there has been a problem,” state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsEarlier, engineers from the Power department had to travel long distances and check every single pole to identify the exact place of the fault. The department has already installed this technology in 50 feeder boxes across the state.It has been found that due to frequent thundershowers in recent times, there have been frequent power faults and the engineers from the Power department has addressed the situation in no time by the use of this modern technology. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Apart from the inclement weather resulting in power disturbances, overdrawing of power by illegal means have also resulted in power cut,” a senior official of the department said. The department, with the objective of sustainable and uninterrupted power connection, has taken up a project of underground cable system for power supply in 77 urban townships across the state. The department has successfully completed laying of such underground cables for electricity at Nabadwip in Nadia district and Bolpur in Birbhum.”We have targetted to complete the underground power supply project by 2025. We will be taking up an average of 11 urban townships a year for installing this facility. This will help us achieve our aim of laying underground power supply infrastructure for 77 such townships in the state,” an official said. Overhead power supply is often affected when there are inclement weather conditions, like a storm or heavy rainfall. “Apart from this, there is rampant power theft due to hooking, which results in loss for the department. Underground power connection will make the situation much better,” a senior official of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL), which is implementing the project said.last_img read more

Fourday school improves math

first_imgResearchers have found that children attending schools for just four days in a week perform better in mathematics than those who attend a traditional five-day school week.“What interested me about our results is they were completely opposite to what we anticipated,” said Mary Beth Walker, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in the US. The study compared fourth-grade reading and fifth-grade math test scores for students who participated in a four-day school week, versus those who attended a five-day school week. The researchers found that a four-day school week had a statistically significant impact on math scores for fifth-grade students, while reading scores were not affected.The study suggests there is little evidence that moving to a four-day week compromises student academic achievement.last_img read more

2000yearold Ashoka Stupa restored in remote China

first_imgA symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China, the renovated Stupa and Ashoka pillar along with a huge golden statue of Buddha was consecrated by Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of Drukpa lineage of Buddhism based in Ladakh, on Tuesday in China’s Qinghai province, located adjacent to Tibet Autonomous Region.Legend has it that over 2,500 years ago, Buddha’s disciples retrieved one skull bone, two scapulas, four teeth and 84,000 pearl-like sariras (relics) after Lord Buddha’s body was cremated. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortAccording to Buddhist records, Ashoka collected all of Sakyamuni’s (Buddha) sarira, stored them in pagoda-shaped shrines before sending them to different parts of the world.China is believed to have received 19 of them, including the one in Nangchen, but most of them have collapsed due to natural wear and tear as well as negligence. Three more such Stupas were discovered in Chinese cities of Xian, Nanjing and near Ayuwang in Zhejiang Province. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanThe Nangchen Stupa is the first to be discovered in the Tibetan region. The fate of the other 15 sent by Ashoka to China is unknown so far.While the advent of Buddhism to China were well chronicled since 68 AD when first Buddhist temple White Horse was built in Luoyang by Chinese monk Xuanzan after a 17-year- long voyage to India, the Stupa signifies efforts by Ashoka to spread the religion around the world.In the new temple here, the pillar with a stone containing an original inscription was prominently placed between a renovated structure and the Stupa, remnants of which according to monks were preserved by the locals from the ravages of invasions of Mongols and the decade-long Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong during which historical relics, artifacts and cultural and religious sites were destroyed.last_img read more

State government drawing up schemes to promote renewable energy Mamata

first_imgKolkata: The state government is going to promote solar power and renewable energy in a big way, announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on National Renewable Day.On the occasion, she tweeted: “Today is #NationalRenewableEnergyDay. Our State Govt is drawing up major schemes for the promotion of solar power & other sources of renewable energy like tidal power in #Bangla… One such scheme is “Aaloshree” under which roofs of all government offices & schools are being fitted with solar panels. #NationalRenewableEnergyDay.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe use of solar power will not only bring down the electricity bills in state-run offices and institutions but also help to conserve energy. In New Town, many state and central government offices are being run on solar power. Green buildings that have come up in different locations in New Town and Kolkata, use solar power and are given additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR).Meanwhile, state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay held a high-level meeting in West Midnapore to bring down losses in the power sector. Senior administrative and police officials of West Midnapore and Jhargram districts were present at the meeting. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior officials of the state Power department also attended it.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister had urged the Power department to take steps to bring down the losses. A review meeting will be held a month later to take a stock of the progress.The ways and means to check power thefts and non-payment of bills, the two main causes of the revenue loss were discussed at length. The state Power department has taken up schemes to stop thefts. Outdoor teams have been formed which go out in different areas and those involved in power thefts are arrested. As a result of this, illegal tapping of power from the overhead lines has come down to a great extent. Non-payment of electricity bills in semi-urban and rural areas has become a major concern of the Power department. Rural people are taking new connections but are very reluctant to pay the bill. Seventy senior officials have been deputed who along with district-level officials will visit and urge them to pay the electricity bills. They will be accompanied by cops as well. Though no action will be taken immediately, the department is contemplating steps which include arrest and even disconnection of the line in case of habitual offenders.last_img read more

More women living healthier in mind not in body

first_imgMore women are now spending fewer years with impaired brain function but more years with disability compared to 20 years ago, reveals a new research.At the age of 65, females now spend around seven months more with moderate or severe disability and 2.5 years more with mild disability, the researchers found.“The aim of research was to investigate how health expectancies at the age of 65 and above changed between 1991 and 2011 in Britain,” said lead researcher Carol Jagger from Newcastle University’s Institute of Ageing.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Meanwhile, overall men’s life expectancy increased by 4.5 years but they had only 1.3 years more with mild disability and there was no increase in the years spent with moderate or severe disability or mild or worse cognitive impairment. Experts have shown that between 1991 and 2011, women’s life expectancy at the age of 65 increased by 3.6 years but they identified that the female body does not age as well as its mind. The research team compared two rounds of the cognitive function and ageing study, done in England in 1991 and 2011. Health expectancy was measured in three ways — self-perceived health, life without disability, and time free from cognitive impairment.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThose aged 65 and above over a similar time period, who showed problems with vision and hearing, did not account for increases in disability. Stability in self-care activities, like cooking, and increase in mobility limitations, such as walking 200 yards and climbing stairs, may contribute to gains in mild disability.“One possibility for the increased years women are living with mild disability might be the rise in obesity levels over the decades or multiple diseases which are a feature of very old age,” Jagger said.“It is also necessary for community care services and family carers who predominantly support those with mild to moderate disability to enable them to continue living independently,” the authors noted in a paper published in the journal The Lancet.last_img read more