What's the buzz

What's the buzz

New data collected during a recent Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP) scientific research expedition in the Pacific Ocean may provide clues to unlocking this unsolved mystery in Earth’s geologic record.

In fall 2009, an international team of scientists participating in IODP Expedition 324 ‘Shatsky Rise Formation’, drilled five sites in the ocean floor to study the origin of the 145 million-year-old Shatsky Rise volcanic mountain chain. Located approximately 1,500 kilometres east of Japan, Shatsky Rise measures roughly the size of California. This underwater mountain chain represents one of the largest supervolcanoes in the world: the top of Shatsky Rise lies three and a half kilometres below the sea surface, while its base plunges to nearly six kilometres below the surface. Shatsky Rise is composed of layers of hardened lava, with individual lava flows that are up to 23 meters thick.

Boffins turn worm in the apple gay to save crops
Fruit experts have developed a novel technique to save millions of pounds worth of crops each year — the codling moth that tunnels through apples and pears will now be turned gay.

The grey insect with copper striped wings lays its eggs on fruit trees. Once the yellow and black larvae hatch, they dig into ripening fruit to feast on the seeds.
Until now, the only way to stop the pest, known in America as the ‘worm in the apple’, was by spraying orchards with pesticides. However, this killed harmless insects disrupting the food chain.

Now food technologists at supermarket chain Sainsbury’s have come up with a method wherein a male codling moth is coated with pheromone, a natural perfume used by the females to attract mates.

The males home in on the scented bait to no avail while the females remain unfertilised.
“Codling moths have the ability to devastate entire crops if left uncontrolled. The new technique means males are attracted to males, disrupting the breeding cycle and reducing dramatically the number of eggs able to produce baby moths,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesman.

‘Wider first aid knowledge could save thousands’
A British charity has said that a wider knowledge of first aid techniques could save thousands of lives each year.
According to the St John Ambulance, which is focusing a new campaign on five health emergencies which account for 1,50,000 deaths each year in England and Wales, including heart attacks, choking and severe bleeding, believes that if confident first aiders were present on more occasions, many lives would be saved. The charity is offering a free pocket which it feels will boost the survival chances of many more patients.
This view is backed by the WHO, which also says ‘bystander first aid’ can make a difference and should be encouraged.