March 10, 2006 |
Dennis J. Joslyn, 58, of Villanova, a professor of biology at the Camden campus of Rutgers University whose research in the field of insect genetics helped advance mosquito control efforts in New Jersey, died of heart failure March 1 at home. Professor Joslyn's work in genetics included research that analyzed the DNA of mosquitoes and the development of cancer cells. He involved his students in his research. Together they foraged through marshes to collect insects they would later crush and douse with blue ink in order to study their genetic makeup.
November 11, 2005 |
They possess magnetlike powers. At the sight of them, you either run away, repelled, or are drawn closer, eager to investigate. If bugs bring out your natural curiosity - or if you just want an up-close look at the nonliving variety - check out the Museum of the American Philosophical Society on Sunday. A three-hour program on bug collecting, inspired by the museum's "Treasures Revealed" exhibition, will feature amateur entomologist Greg Cowper. Cowper spent the summer gathering bugs that live in Independence National Historical Park; he'll bring that mounted collection with him, show how to mount your own collection, and give tips on catching the critters.
October 16, 2005 |
At the bottom of the Capulin Volcano in New Mexico, John Gruber and students from Friends' Central School in Wynnewood watched the moths flutter, landing on the hanging, illuminated white bedsheet. It was night. Gruber, chairman of the private school's Upper School science department, took a jar and closed it over one moth. He examined the green-winged creature, confirming that it was one he wanted to study. Gruber, 40, of Ardmore, has been catching moths and butterflies since he was a child.
August 21, 2005 |
In the beady eyes of two invasive insects, the Philadelphia region would be a bacchanal - an orgy of fine food and wild sex amongst the maples, sycamores, birches and ashes that shade the city and suburbs. Were the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer to converge here, potentially half of the urban forest - well more than a million trees - could be fatally infected. Such is the worst-case scenario. And it is inching closer on six spindly legs. Bearing down on Pennsylvania from the west is the ash borer, a glitter-green bug about a half-inch long that lays its eggs on the bark of ashes.
August 21, 2005 |
Peter Connors walked somberly through a grove of dead ash trees, all victims of the emerald ash borer, all X'ed with green paint for the chain saws. "This shows what the world economy does to us," said Connors, deputy manager of Madison Heights, a town outside Detroit. "We now know for sure how small we are. " The ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle are but two of an estimated four dozen invasive insects that, scientists suspect, have established themselves in the United States since the mid-1990s.
September 2, 2004 |
What's bugging the spatterdock? New Jersey environmental and agricultural officials still do not know why masses of spatterdock, also known as yellow pond lily, are curling up and dying along Mantua Creek in Gloucester County. What they do know is that a type of beetle identified as Galerucella has been eating the leaves. And water samples have turned up no chemicals that could be causing the blight. Two species of Galerucella beetles, Galerucella calmariensis and Galerucella pusilla, were introduced into the United States from Europe in the 1990s to combat purple loosestrife, a beautiful but invasive perennial that was choking lakes.
August 18, 2004 |
Two weeks after the troubling discovery of a single northern New Jersey tree infested by the Asian long-horned beetle, federal and state plant experts are dealing with a problem that is far more widespread. As of yesterday afternoon, the estimated toll was up to 70 trees, and tree climbers had lots more ground to cover. "That's a conservative guess," said Barry Emens, head of the beetle eradication program in New Jersey for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The newly discovered trees are mostly in Rahway, Union County, about a mile from the original infested tree found Aug. 2 in Carteret, Middlesex County.
August 14, 2004 |
Bob Beaney's epiphany came while mowing his lawn in Wallingford. Seven years ago, he saw a red-tailed hawk. "Now it's just incredible," he said, meaning his awareness of life surrounded by nature, birds and butterflies. That last interest is relatively new, and gaining: "In the middle of the day the butterflies are out but the birds aren't. " Fifteen years ago, virtually no one in America watched butterflies. Even lepidopterists relied mainly on mounted specimens for their research.
May 31, 2004 |
The joke persists that mosquitoes should be New Jersey's state bird, and the sliver of land at the bottom of the state is a prime breeding ground, especially after a warm, rainy spring. But scientists are prepared to fight the mosquito this summer season with myriad techniques: Rhode Island Red chickens, stink water, and traps that resemble contraptions in a Road Runner cartoon. Bordered by bay and ocean, Cape May County's 53,000 acres of salt marsh - which attract migrating birds - are the largest mosquito habitat at the Shore.
February 28, 2004 |
Scientists battling a host of foreign invaders are producing weapons of miniature destruction in a lab outside Trenton. Call it biological warfare on a bug-size scale. The invaders are plants and insects that are chewing up crops, deforesting forests, and squeezing out native species. The weapons are foreigners, too - parasitic bugs that are being bred by the millions at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insect Lab, only one of three such facilities run by a state in the nation.