Tag Archives: insects

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns Steeped in Science, Secrecy

Image of Kartchner Caverns
Photo courtesy Kartchner Caverns State Park.

When co-discovers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found the blowhole entrance to the caverns in 1974, they did something extraordinary: They kept it a secret.  And when they could no longer shield the caves through secrecy, they sought out science to help protect Kartchner Caverns post-development.

Research has supported Kartchner ever since, but the reverse is true as well. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk to find out how:

At Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns, Science Supports Stewardship — And Vice Versa

Climate Change Expands Western U.S. Forest Fires — With Plenty of Help

Smoke from Arizona's Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.
Smoke from Arizona’s Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.

Human-induced climate change has doubled forest fire damage in the West over the past 30 years, says a study published online early by the journal PNAS. But human effects on fire extend far beyond climate.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Western US Forest Fires Expand, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

Education Film 38b: Zika Virus and You

The Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti takes a bloodmeal.
The Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti takes a bloodmeal. Photo courtesy CDC.

Zika virus is spreading through a hemisphere with plenty of mosquito habitat and no immunity to the disease, and summer is on its way. But what really chills the blood and drives our dread of what was once considered “dengue’s wimpy cousin” is the virus’s horrifying, yet unproven, link to infant microcephaly.

And so, even as epidemiologists struggle to contain and understand the problem, the news swarms with disturbing images and calls for wiping out the offending mosquito vectors. Clearly, if we’re going to get through this, we need to do our homework. Why not start with my article, in which I cut through the buzz to explore …

How Zika Virus Works

Maggot Therapy: Seven Debridement’s for Seven Brothers

Maggots (small brown dots) in BioBag (left) , ready for work

During World War I, an American surgeon named William Baer noted that the maggot-ridden wounds he found on some soldiers looked surprisingly healthy, showing fewer signs of inflammation or infection. Baer’s observation was really a rediscovery of the medical value of maggots, a quality known to Napoleon’s Army doctors and probably used by civilizations as far back as the ancient Maya.

Today, doctors use the creepy crawlies to stem infections, speed healing and save money, particularly in cases of chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. Ask your doctor if medical maggots are right for you – but first read

How Maggot Therapy Works