Join Jesse and Sophie as they talk about cannibalistic caterpillars, ugly fruit and veg turned into snacks, Croque MonScience, and Sampling the Abyss.

Join Jesse and Sophie as they snap back to reality, whope there goes gravity…*ahem* — as they discuss last fortnight’s science news: plant defences that turn herbivorous caterpillars into cannibals, our RV Investigator’s voyage to Sample the Abyss, the new project to rescue imperfect fruit and veg and turn them into healthy food products, and finally their new segment: Deconstructed Croque-MonScience, where Sophie guesses research findings and methods based on the title of a paper.

Science news

  • Caterpillars turned cannibals — “It is not unusual for insect pests to feast on each other as well as on their staple veg, but it’s now been shown that tomato plants can team up to directly push caterpillars into cannibalism. ‘This is a new ecological mechanism of induced resistance that effectively changes the behaviour of the insects’,” from Nature. Full paper, here.
  • Croque-MonScience (Technology to reduce malaria spread within the body) — “Scientists have discovered a new way to slow down malaria infections, providing a possible new target for antimalarial drugs. The team are already working with pharmaceutical companies to use this knowledge to develop new antimalarials – an important step in the battle against drug resistant malaria,” from EurekAlert. Full paper, here.

CSIRO news

What creatures lurk in the deep abyss?

“An international research team has just returned from a voyage of deep sea discovery with an astonishing variety of weird and wonderful creatures from Australia’s eastern abyss.

Considered one of the most inaccessible and unexplored environments on the planet, the team led by scientists from Museums Victoria pulled into port with a precious cargo of bizarre, unusual and even unnerving deep sea species discovered in the abyss – a dark, crushing environment 4000 m below the surface. Research in other parts of the world has found that life in the abyss has evolved many highly unique ways to survive,” from our blog. Learn more about the voyage here.

Giving ugly vegetables a nutrient-rich face lift

“When you’re picking fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, do you go for the healthiest-looking, largest and most colourful option? You’re not alone. Research has shown 40, and even up to 60 per cent of farmers’ veggie crops are wasted along the chain from the farm to our kitchens and one reason is because they don’t meet shoppers’ expectations,” from our blog. Learn more about the partnership here.


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