According to reports, scientists have created a network of insect spies–insects with cameras and computer chips embedded in their bodies that send information back to computers. Several articles have commented on the stupidity of these experiments (along with expounding on a variety of conspiracies associated with insect spies), but I think it’s neato. Besides, didn’t we already see this in a movie or two? Everyone knows that once it’s on the big screen it’s real.
Scientists are mining a previously untapped resource for fuel: termite guts. Termites, those annoying buggers that eat us out of house and home, have the ability to break down cellulose–the substance that makes up the cell wall in woody plants. Many animals are unable to digest cellulose (mmm…fiber!) so it is a great biological feat to digest this substance and extract the nutrients.
Termites don’t do this on their own, however. They have a symbiotic relationships with bacteria that live in their digestive tracts. Its these bacteria that produce the enzymes to breakdown cellulose. Termites give the bacteria ready access to wood, and absorb the nutrients.
Entomologists are now tapping this resources to try and create biofuels. What a brilliant idea! I am of the personal opinion that insects can cure all human problems–but then I’m biased.