CALS Entomology on AZPM: GMOs, Sky Island Arthropods, Sting Pain

Monday, August 19, 2013

The July 9, 2013 edition of the PBS program Arizona Illustrated featured four segments on insects, with three focusing on specialties within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology:

Crop Protection with GMOs: Bruce Tabashnik, professor and head, explains how genetically modified crops help to control some key insect pests while reducing reliance on more toxic insecticides. Genetically modified cotton that produces an insect-killing protein from the bacterium called Bt (for Bacillus thuringiensis) has been used in combination with other tactics to suppress the pink bollworm, a caterpillar pest that had plagued Arizona cotton farmers for a century.

Sky Island Organisms: Wendy Moore, assistant professor and curator discusses her recently published coauthored book on the ecology and geology of Arizona's Sky Islands -- lush mountain habitats that are like green islands in a "sea" of the surrounding lower elevation, drier deserts. She also shares her passion for beetles, including bombardier beetles that eject a boiling chemical spray when disturbed and other arthropods that are ubiquitous in the Sky Islands.

In addition, the show features edible insects and an interview with Justin Schmidt, adjunct scientist in the Department of Entomology, who developed the famous "Schmidt sting pain index."

See video below.

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