22 Mar '12, 1pm

Farmers to use spider venom to protect crops

Farmers and bugs typically have a hate-hate relationship. Insects eat up valuable wheat, barley, and soybeans, and farmers slay them dead using an arsenal of chemical weapons (a.k.a. pesticides). But no longer. Australian growers may soon form an alliance with their new best buggy friends: spiders. Researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience found that tarantula, orb spider, and funnel web spider venom actually makes a super-effective, all-natural pesticide. Not only that, but scientists envision using the earth-friendly spider venom to control agricultural pests and wipe out disease vectors like mosquitoes. Glenn King, head of the institute’s spider research team, said the most deadly insecticides were found in primitive spider species that kill their prey by jumping on them and sinking in their fangs, without first entangling or trapp...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/farmers-to-use-spider-venom-to-prot...

Tweets

Study: GMO crops are killing butterflies

Study: GMO crops are killing butterflies

grist.org 19 Mar '12, 1pm

We’re all familiar with Big Ag’s bad reputation of picking on small-scale and organic farmers. Now Monsanto and its cronie...

Govt may use SIT as full-fledged university

Govt may use SIT as full-fledged university

channelnewsasia.com 22 Mar '12, 1pm

SINGAPORE: The government may use the Singapore Institute of Technology as a full-fledged university as it expands univers...

Seeking a Sustainable Path for Coffee, and Coffee Farmers, in Haiti

Seeking a Sustainable Path for Coffee, and Coff...

dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com 22 Mar '12, 6pm

What led you to Haiti, in particular? A. I’ve been sourcing raw coffee for many years, in many countries, for my roasting ...

Digital Defenders: Tribal People Use GPS to Protect Their Lands

Digital Defenders: Tribal People Use GPS to Pro...

e360.yale.edu 15 Mar '12, 12pm

Digital Defenders: Tribal People Use GPS to Protect Their Lands From the rainforests of central Africa to the Australian o...

For New Yorkers, a farmers market on your phone

For New Yorkers, a farmers market on your phone

grist.org 30 Mar '12, 12pm

A community-supported agriculture (CSA) share can be a culinary battle royale. Every other week, it’s you versus a mystery...