Insects and People: News Roundup (March 4)

Just a few stories for this week:

Studies of insect vision used to build robots

Our last news roundup included a story about scientists using moths as a model for building robots that can smell.  This week, we have a story about scientists using locusts as a model for building robots that can see.  Scientists in the United Kingdom have built a computerized system that can drive robots.  This system is based on their studies of locust vision.  They hope to use their research to eventually build sensors into vehicles that can prevent car collisions.

Beetle trade in Cameroon

Insect collecting can be lucrative business and beetle collecting has become more and more common in Cameroon.  Researchers and managers are hoping to use the beetle trade to provide sustainable incomes to local people in Cameroon as well as providing motivation for conservation efforts.  Currently, there is no legislation dealing the insect trade in Cameroon, but regulation could increase revenues.  For example, there are no permits required for foreigners to collect beetles in Cameroon and take them out of the country.  Conservation efforts to preserve beetle populations and the habitats they live in will not only provide a sustainable income to local people through the beetle trade, but will also protect habitats that provide food and other services to locals.

Mosquitoes become less sensitive to deet over time

A recent study shows that mosquitoes become less responsive to deet after repeated exposures!

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