- News Home
10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
ScienceShot: Humid Breath Fells Insects
9 August 2010 12:00 pm
Talk about bad breath. When a goat exhales on pea aphids living on alfalfa and other plants, the insects fall to the ground en masse. The aphids don't want to be lunch, but until now researchers weren't sure what caused them to drop. Perhaps it was the herbivore's shadow that scared them, or maybe the creature inadvertently shook them off. A new study, however, published in tomorrow's issue of Current Biology, finds that it's the heat and the humidity of the goat's breath that the insects are responding to. When the researchers blew carbon dioxide or other components of human and herbivore breath on the aphids, the insects stayed put. But when they blew hot, humid air on the aphids, nearly two-thirds jumped ship. The team says that a number of other insects may employ this curious method of self defense.
See more ScienceShots.