Latest Entries
epigenetics / general biology

Cytosine methylation in insects: new routes for the comprehension of insect complexity

We have just published a short review entitled  “Cytosine methylation in insects: new routes for the comprehension of insect complexity” in the new journal AIMS Biophysics. In our review we focussed our attention on the role of epigenetics (in particular cytosine metylation) in the evolution of complex traits, since several morphological and/or behavioural traits may result from epigenetic modulation of genes … Continue reading

general biology

Growing fast without zero population growth genes

If you had aphids on your plants, you have undoubtedly verified their fast growing rate. Indeed, aphids can reproduce quickly and it has been calculated that under ideal conditions (such as absence of predators, parasites, pathogens and benign climatic conditions, especially including optimal temperatures of 20 -25 °C), a single asexual female could in theory … Continue reading

books / general biology

Aphids come as a surprise in a lepidopterist’s biography

I’m reading the book (and diary) entitled “Love among the butterflies” about the life of Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine. Margaret Fountaine has been an unorthodox woman who started to collect butterflies becoming an entomologist and traveled across the world adding pieces to her huge collection of 22,000 butterfly specimens (now at Norwich Castle Museum as the … Continue reading

congress

Symbiomes: when symbionts go to the congress

Symbiosis plays a very important role in the origin, organization and evolution of life and it is now evident that we live in a symbiotic world, where the key characteristic of the biological systems is to establish associations and connections with other organisms. The practical implications of this new approach are enormous, and largely unexplored and … Continue reading

general biology / pesticide resistance

Neonicotinoids? An unacceptable danger for biodiversity

Neonicotinoids and fipronil are currently highly used insecticides applied in different cases, including seed coating, bathing, foliar spray applications and trunk injection. These compounds are commonly used for insect pest management since they are very effective due to their disruption of the neural transmission in the central nervous system of organisms. Indeed, neonicotinoids bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) , whereas … Continue reading