Cornell develops the first robotic insect

In Cornell News

Flying insects can perform impressive acrobatic feats, simultaneously sensing and avoiding a striking hand or landing on moving surfaces, such as leaves or flowers blowing in the wind. Similarly, walking insects can display amazing speed, maneuverability, and robustness by rapidly sensing and avoiding predators, while foraging or seeking shelter in small spaces and unstructured terrains.

Silvia Ferrari, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with Robert J. Wood (Harvard University), is working toward a future where autonomous, small-scale robots would have similar capabilities, sensing and responding to their environments and maneuvering without human commands. These robots would be particularly invaluable for surveillance or reconnaissance missions in dangerous or remote environments. Continue reading

FDA approves first U.S. treatment for Chagas disease

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it has granted accelerated approval for the nation’s first treatment for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi spread by kissing bugs that has increasingly been found in the United States, especially in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley area.

The drug benznidazole, made by Chemo Research, SL, of Madrid, is approved for use in children ages 2 to 12 years old who have Chagas disease. Its safety and efficacy were shown in two placebo-controlled clinical trials in children 6 to 12 years old. An additional study in kids ages 2 to 12 helped set dosing recommendations. Stomach pain, rash, decreased weight, and headache were among the most common adverse reactions, and the drug was associated with some serious risks, including skin reactions, nervous system effects, and bone marrow depression.  Continue reading

Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist

Integrated Management of Invasive and Endemic Arthropods Attacking Subtropical Fruit Crops University of California, Riverside

The Department of Entomology invites applications for an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in the area of integrated management of invasive and endemic arthropod species attacking subtropical fruit crops at the University of California, Riverside. This is a fiscal year position and is available January 1, 2018 with a 90 % Cooperative Extension/10% Organized Research appointment in the Agricultural Experiment Station (http://cnas.ucr.edu/about/aes/). The position will be housed at the University of California Riverside Campus in Riverside, CA. Continue reading

Trainings at Texas’s IPM Experience House

From Insects in the City

by Michael Merchant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Are you looking for pest control training using a practical approach? Do you have a new employee that you’d like to provide with some of the best training available?  Then you might be interested in the three new hands-on classes being offered this summer through the new IPM Experience House in Dallas.  Here are this summer’s classes with information on how to register: Continue reading

Identifying true armyworms in your field

Excerpted from an article in Delta Farm Press. See Delta Farm Press for the entire article.

True armyworm damages crops and feeds on the foliage of corn, wheat, fescue and other grass plants. Continue reading

Start scouting for fall armyworms now

In Delta Farm Press

by Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas

They’re called fall armyworms, but this year, they’re not even waiting for summer to bring their appetites to Arkansas’ lawns, pastures and rice fields. Kevin Lawson, Perry County Extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, noted on June 5 that hungry little caterpillars were on some rice in his county, and urged those with sod farms, pastures and hayfields to “start scouting now.” Continue reading

Weather and pests can make summer squash a frustrating crop for home gardeners

by Sharon Dowdy, University of Georgia

Pests and diseases make summer squash one of the most challenging vegetables to grow in Georgia home gardens, according to University of Georgia plant pathologist Elizabeth Little, who studies plant diseases and control methods at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Through my plant pathology experience and observations, I’ve noticed what is most difficult to grow in Georgia’s hot, muggy summers. Squash tops the list,” Little said. “That’s why summer squash will grow better where summer conditions are cooler and drier.” Continue reading