December 10, 2007

And you thought "living" roaches were bad

Posted by: Karyn Gregory

Let's go buggy for...


Two new states for roaches have been discovered recently: the undead and the robotic.

The undead "zombie" roaches are the victims of the jewel wasp, whose brain-injected toxin stops a roach's will to escape. Creepy as that is, scientists are now using this parasitic relationship to better understand the chemical nature of movement.

As for the 'droids, European scientists have newly invented a robotic cockroach. The machine, covered in a paper filter drenched in cockroach pheremones, is capable of influencing roach group-behavior. Researchers speculate that these robots could be used to lead cockroaches to traps, eliminating the need for pesticides.

Check out the BBC video here.

- Karyn

Photo courtesy Ram Gal, via news.nationalgeographic.com

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