#41
a different type of, "fail army worm"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/us-military-plan-biological-weapons-insect-allies-virus-crop-darpa-a8568996.html
#42
[account deactivated]
#43
[account deactivated]
#44

ilmdge posted:

a different type of, "fail army worm"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/us-military-plan-biological-weapons-insect-allies-virus-crop-darpa-a8568996.html

here we have the setup to paolo bacigalupi's biopunk scifi novel the windup girl

#45
but doctor, i am paolo bacigalupi
#46

toyotathon posted:

However, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which is responsible for developing military technologies in the US, says it is merely trying to alter crops growing in fields by using viruses to transmit genetic changes to plants.

We live in hell

#47
i'm lovin' it, bury me in fungus and worms, oh yeah
#48
maybe the joke about the hurricane that looked like a skull is that if you look at them right all hurricanes look like skulls
#49

ialdabaoth posted:

ilmdge posted:

a different type of, "fail army worm"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/us-military-plan-biological-weapons-insect-allies-virus-crop-darpa-a8568996.html

here we have the setup to paolo bacigalupi's biopunk scifi novel the windup girl

that was a good book, i especially liked the part where everyone referred to Des Moines as a synonym for inscrutable corporate power, the way we use Silicon Valley or Wall Street now

#50

toyotathon posted:

We live in hell

lol, this is nothing compared to whats coming

#51

rekt

Edited by tears ()

#52
#53

cars posted:

IMO a more likely threat from gene drives is that some room full of bullet-headed generals somewhere decides to use the existing level of the technology to wipe out e.g. a pollinator as a form of silent warfare waged against an enemy’s food supply, and then they fuck up in their assessment of the impact, or there’s a mutation or horizontal gene transfer through a pathogen shared with a related species, and half the world starves to death.

toyotathon posted:

However, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which is responsible for developing military technologies in the US, says it is merely trying to alter crops growing in fields by using viruses to transmit genetic changes to plants.

#54
the lesson i hope to learn here is that any possible killer accidental fuck-up by the United States military-industrial complex I could ever imagine, they're already trying to make happen on purpose
#55
#56
me: what if some virus somewhere transmits the engineered genes to another species and you end up with a bunch of people starving.
DARPA: Erasure at it's finest... the virus's name is ETHEREAL_SLAMMER_69
#57

A fall armyworm invasion in Asia could have a devastating impact on Asia's maize and rice producers

Charu Bahri | IndiaSpend Last Updated at October 28, 2018 16:21 IST

It is an innocuous-looking worm with four black spots near its tail and an inverted ‘Y’ mark on its head, no larger than a matchstick. But when Indian agricultural scientists spotted it in the maize farms of southern Karnataka mid-2018, they panicked.

“The fall armyworm is a destructive pest never sighted before in India,” said Sushil K Jalali, a member of that team and principal scientist and head, division of genomic resources, ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru. “So when we heard it may have reached maize growing areas in and around Bengaluru, we rushed to investigate.”

The fall armyworm is a native of the Americas. After making its way to Africa in 2016, it now appears to have found a home in India. The voracious pest, known to devastate a 1-acre field in a week, could endanger the agricultural output of not just India but the rest of Asia, particularly China, the world’s second largest producer of maize, if it migrates further east.

The scientists found the larvae of the fall armyworm feeding on maize in every one of the five southern Karnataka districts they surveyed--Chikkaballapur, Hassan, Davanagere, Shivamogga and Chitradurga. In some fields in Chikkaballapur, the pest had affected more than seven in 10 plants, which led to a nationwide pest alert.

Since then, identifying and speedily implementing measures to curtail the spread of the Spodoptera frugiperda, the scientific name of the fall armyworm, has become priority for India’s agricultural scientists.

“The fall armyworm has a huge appetite and is capable of feeding on more than 100 plant species,” said Jalali. “Its favourite foods are maize, millet, sorghum, sugarcane, rice and wheat, while it is also capable of feasting on cowpea, groundnut, potato, soybean and cotton--all important food or cash crops in India. And it has a tendency to spread to new territories fast.”

The crops Jalali named--plus the area under oilseeds, another crop the insect preys on--occupy 82% of India’s farmland, as per the land use records of principal crops in the Agriculture Statistical Year Book 2017. This means it can inflict considerable damage on Indian agriculture if it is allowed to multiply.

The fall armyworm’s widespread occurrence in Karnataka--where maize farmers reported losses in August 2018 (see news reports here and here)--was “likely to be soon followed by spreads to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, major regions for hybrid maize seed production in India”: This was a prediction made by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a not-for-profit generating agricultural innovations for Africa on August 4, 2018.

Pest threat could spread to rest of Asia

“The fall armyworm has spread to states neighbouring Karnataka in barely one month,” Gopi Ramasamy, country director for India of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), told IndiaSpend. CABI is an international not-for-profit that provides scientific expertise to deal with agricultural and environmental problems.

The insect “has not only invaded the maize crop in Maharashtra, the area adjoining the borders of Odisha and Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Gujarat but also sorghum and other millet crops in Telangana and the northern part of Karnataka”, said Jagdish Jaba, an entomologist with the Theme Integrated Crop Management (Research Program—Asia) at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

The IITA has also predicted that further expansion of the fall armyworm to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and other countries “will put the maize production of the whole Asian continent seriously at risk with dire economic consequences”. This spread is “highly likely” due to the “favourable climate” in Asia “with southeast Asia and south China most at risk”, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

A fall armyworm invasion in Asia “could have a devastating impact on Asia’s maize and rice producers--mostly small-scale farmers who depend on their crops for food and to make a living”, Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, said in an interview to UN News.

From Africa to India, the fall armyworm’s long journey

Samples of the larvae picked by Jalali and his colleagues from maize fields were subjected to DNA sequencing--a scientific test that establishes the order of the four chemical building blocks making up the DNA molecule. “Testing helped match the larvae with species found in Canada and in Costa Rica, essentially in the Americas, the fall armyworm’s native habitat,” Jalali said.

So, how did the fall armyworm make its way to India all the way from the Americas?

Until 2015, the fall armyworm was confined to its native habitat, mostly the tropical regions of the Americas, where it was known to prefer maize but also devoured rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton. In Brazil, the world’s third largest producer of maize, it is considered the most problematic pest to invade that crop.

In early 2016, strains of the Spodoptera frugiperda were first seen in Nigeria, probably having crossed the Atlantic at Florida “as stowaways on commercial aircraft, either in cargo containers or airplane holds, before subsequent widespread dispersal by the wind”, estimated an October 2017 report by CABI, Fall Armyworm: Impacts and Implications for Africa.

With the capacity to travel hundreds of kilometres in a day, the fall armyworm moth, the adult form of the larvae, made its way to 44 sub-Saharan countries--an area exceeding 22 million sq km, equivalent to the combined area of the European Union, Australia and the United States--where it demonstrated a growing appetite for other crops such as millet and sorghum, according to the FAO.

“Our research colleagues in Africa have seen the fall armyworm invade and cause heavy damages to a field in just a week,” said Jaba.

One view on how the pest made its way to India is that the it took the trade and travel route between Africa and Asia. “With the liberalisation of trade, the movement of foodstuffs has considerably increased and this raises the possibility of pests (including the fall armyworm) being carried to new destinations, even across oceans,” P K Chakrabarty, assistant director general, plant protection and biosafety, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, told IndiaSpend.

Another view is that the monsoon weather system may have been carried the insect across the Indian Ocean. “The fact that the insect reached Karnataka at more or less the same time as the monsoon raises the possibility of monsoon winds having brought it over from Africa,” said Mamta Sharma, a theme leader of an Integrated Crop Management Research Program—Asia at ICRISAT.

Once in India, the pest could naturally migrate to new parts in the country and to other parts of Asia over the land route, since it has strong flying abilities, said Ramasamy.

Favourable weather conditions--a hot, humid climate and intermittent rainfall--have helped the fall armyworm’s quick spread in India, said Sharma. “The fall armyworm’s spread to Deccan India has more or less followed the northward movement of the monsoon,” Jaba said.

Why India, other nations can expect higher pest activity

The fall armyworm invasion is not the first time a pest from overseas has caused agricultural losses in India. In the five years to 2018, India has experienced two other instances of pest infestation, said Chakrabarty.

Tuta absoluta, or the South American tomato moth--since the 1960s it has caused devastation in that continent--first appeared in tomato-growing districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka in 2014. It caused moderate to severe infestations. Then in 2016, coconut plantations in south India were affected by the rugose spiraling whitefly, an insect native to Central America.

Could global warming be responsible for the acclimatisation of invasive pests to newer geographies? Insects are ectothermic, which means their caloric needs and metabolism depends on the external air temperature. When the climate warms, their metabolic rate accelerates which, in turn, makes them hungrier.

Research has established that global warming will increase the overall pest population and create favourable habitats for them in temperate regions that were earlier too cool for their spread. Scientists at the University of Washington recently modelled the potential losses of staple crops to higher insect activity from global warming. Corn, rice and wheat alone are staples for about 4 billion people worldwide and account for about two-thirds of the food energy intake.

Each degree Celsius rise of the global mean surface temperature will increase the worldwide losses of these three staples by 10-25%, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Increases in insect activity from a 2-degree Celsius rise in surface temperatures would shave off 31% of the corn and rice crops and 46% of the wheat crop.

“It appears that under virtually all climate change scenarios, pest populations will be the winners, particularly in highly productive temperate regions, causing real food prices to rise and food-insecure families to suffer,” said co-author Rosamond Naylor, a professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University and founding director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, when the study was published.

Globally, about one-fourth of crops are routinely lost to insect pests, pathogens and weeds. India loses roughly 20% of the various crops it produces annually to biotic stresses including insects, pathogens, weeds, rodents, higher vertebrates and so on, said Chakrabarty.

The farm sector is estimated to lose crops worth Rs 90,000 crore annually to pests, weeds and insects, according to this report published in The Hindu. Farmers need to prepare for rising insect pressure to mitigate the impact on the already fragile global food supply, scientists estimate.

Timely action against predator pests is critical

India had successfully managed to control the pest invasion of coconut plantations and tomato crops, said Chakrabarty. But the fall armyworm is a formidable pest. Mozambique lost 50% to 60% of its maize crop to this pest and Malawi 10%. Overall, the damage has been pegged at over $13 billion, prompting the FAO to invest$9 million in managing the invasion.

In 2017, CABI predicted that if the fall armyworm spread was not controlled in Africa, the pest could wipe out between 21% and 53% of the annual production of maize, averaged over a three-year period, in 12 maize-producing countries of the continent.

How is India responding to the present outbreak?

“Biopesticides and biological control agents are at the forefront of our efforts to manage the ongoing fall armyworm infestation,” said Chakrabarty.

Regular pesticides are popular but the FAO has warned against “the heavy use of pesticides, which can be harmful for people, their environment and in the longer run”. Instead, it recommends “the use of biopesticides, including those based on bacteria, virus, and fungus, which have been tested, developed, registered and used successfully in the Americas, where the pest has its origin”.

In India, the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) has declared that botanical pesticides based on neem, pyrethrum and cymbopogon have been found effective against the fall armyworm. But where the infestation is severe, the use of chemical pesticides is also being encouraged, as per ICAR.

However, biological control is a natural approach involving the field release of predators of the invading pests. This is considered essential and effective because migrant pests do not have natural enemies to check their spread in new habitats.

“We have recommended the use of biological control agents like entomopathogenic nematodes, entomophagous fungi like Beauvaria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae for larval control, in maize cultivation,” said Chakrabarty.

Other methods include inoculating unaffected crops, baiting the larvae and eliminating the eggs from affected plants. ICRISAT is using (and proposes the use of) recommended insecticides and traps based on pheromones, chemicals that attract living organisms, to capture the adult male moths in huge numbers, thus helping to control the pest population.

#58
боже мой seeing/being aware of this as it rolls out worldwide while no one else i know has ever heardof it is something else
#59

ialdabaoth posted:

боже мой seeing/being aware of this as it rolls out worldwide while no one else i know has ever heardof it is something else

people looked at me funny when i told them about it, i was like pal this is serious shit

#60

ialdabaoth posted:

боже мой seeing/being aware of this as it rolls out worldwide while no one else i know has ever heardof it is something else

tHE r H i z z o n E

#61
greatest explosive wildfire in the us ever and it burnt down paradise

pdf crosspost
#62
paradise CA is like one county over from where my girlfriend lives. some guy on his way to rescue his neighbors had to leave his car and take shelter in a creek, by the time the smoke had cleared slightly his car was torched, the hamlet he was heading towards was smoking ashes and the people he was trying to pick up were charred skeletons
#63

these fires are incredible
#64
these fires are making me thirsty no wait im a charred corpse
#65
What’s scary is that it’s not even wildfire season now. And it’s only gonna get worse.
#66
every season is wildfire season when you're Pacific Gas & Electric
#67
https://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/the-untimely-demise-of-the-lawson-cypress/
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/bumblebees-endangered-extinction-united-states/
Oh not much just two species that were ubiquitous for the first 20 years of my life
#68
4th National Climate Assessment released

https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report

#69
#70
the cause of this death or loss of viability are various, the main determinant being the factor causing the cessation of growth in the stationary phase. If this cause is the accumulation of toxic products, there may well be a very small stationary phase followed by rapid death. In some cases, there may well be a rapid fall in the total count as well as the viable count. The reason for this is that some organisms are very prone to digest themselves so that they eventually lyse liberating their cytoplasmic contents to the environment; this process is known as autolysis. Another common occurance in this phase of growth is the appearence of bizzare cell shapes together with a change of staining characteristics. For example, cells in the stationary phase and decline phase often change from gram-positive to gram-negative
#71

And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.

9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of amerikkka, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of amerikkka, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of amerikkka do in the dark, every man in his room of pictures? for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the land.

confirmed for screens and porn watchers in the bible prophecies, end times crew 4 life

#72
here are my III predictions for the future

I: THey will discover that solar winds repel extral solar life, itll be some sort of parasitic snake worm shit. The sun is our immune system.
II: DNA based on mars, proving the panspermia hypothesis
III: The UK will send troops into belfast, it will in time be destroyed by the rains

i am a prophetess. believe
#73

tears posted:

I: THey will discover that solar winds repel extral solar life, itll be some sort of parasitic snake worm shit. The sun is our immune system.

#74
#75
here are my predictions for the future: 1) Good king wenceslas looked out, on the feast of stephen, when the snow lay all about on the feast of stephen 2) New permits will remain weak w/ an uptick in existing home sales 3) Aaaa-*my face is getting red*-agood king wenceslas looked out, on the feast of steven,
#76
the most populous wild bird is the red-billed quelea. they live across much of sub-saharan africa and are sometimes called feathered locusts due to their predilection for cereal crops. unsuccessful population control methods include spraying avicides and chucking molotov cocktails into their nesting colonies. there are 1.5 billion red-billed quelea out there roving the continent in sun-darkening clouds that migrate after depleting a regions' seed.

however there are 23 billion broiler chickens worldwide. the biomass of broilers is greater than all other birds combined. modern broilers reach slaughtering age between five and nine weeks after hatching, at which point their oversized muscles overcome their organs' ability to sustain life. they must eat constantly to support this growth rate, and are incapable of reproducing without human intervention. broilers exist for a single purpose: to suffer and die for human pleasure

the discarded bones of billions of broilers accumulate in the anoxic environment of our sprawling landfills, where they will readily fossilize into the most significant biological artifact of the human era
#77
[account deactivated]
#78

https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/news/new-threat-crops-1672021 posted:

New threat to crops

Scientists detect invasive pest in cabbage, maize fields in 5 dists, say there is no reason to panic

Porimol Palma
12:00 AM, December 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:37 AM, December 11, 2018

Agriculture scientists in Bangladesh have found a new pest -- fall armyworm -- that has destroyed maize and sorghum fields covering millions of square kilometres and devastated the livelihoods of farmers in Africa.

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) last month detected the caterpillar in cabbage fields in Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Bogura and Jashore, while in maize fields in Bogura and Chuadanga, said Dr Syed Nurul Alam, director (planning & evaluation) at BARI.

The insect can damage 80 plant species, but it is a major threat for maize in Bangladesh. Other crops that could be under threat include tomato, cabbage, spinach, other leafy vegetables, sugarcane, lemon and wheat, he said.

However, crops damaged by the fall armyworms in the districts concerned would be less than one percent, Alam told The Daily Star on the sidelines of a workshop.

Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and Saarc Agriculture Centre (SAC) jointly organised the programme on the threats of invasive species in Bangladesh in the city's Lakeshore Hotel yesterday.

The caterpillar will be a big threat to the South and Southeast Asian region if effective and immediate measures are not taken.

A native of the Americas, fall armyworm grows in tropical weather conditions. It was first found in South Africa in 2016 and later it spread to 43 other African countries.

Food and Agriculture Organization in a statement on June 27 this year said fall armyworm could leave 300 million people hungry in sub-Saharan Africa, having already infested maize and sorghum fields across 44 countries in an area of more than 22 million square kilometres.

In May, the caterpillar was found in the Indian state of Karnataka. Five months later, it was seen in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, according to the Indian media.

Alam said a moth of a fall armyworm can travel as far as 100 kilometres in just one night, and the female lays hundreds of eggs at once.

“We have a concern over fall armyworm, but we are not panicked because we have the experience of controlling almost similar types of pests, including common armyworm,” he said.

Farmers in Bangladesh already have the knowledge of controlling common armyworms using sex pheromone traps, Alam added.

In such traps, a capsule containing female sex hormone of insects is hung in a plastic bottle with one inch of soap-water and two holes in the middle of the bottle. Set up in crop fields, the bottle attracts male insects that drown in soap water.

Besides, there are insects that can kill the fall armyworm. Also, natural controls of several caterpillar pests can be used to check fall armyworm, said Alam.

Following the discovery of fall armyworm, the government has formed a national taskforce of officials, researchers and agriculture extension officials under the leadership of the agriculture ministry. It has been already working on how to best control the insect, he added.

“We already have factsheets about fall armyworms and distributed those among the agriculture extension personnel up to the union level.

“Massive monitoring of the pest is going on across the country,” Alam said.

Malvika Chaudhary, coordinator of Plantwise (Asia), a project of CABI, said fall armyworm is a big concern in South and Southeast Asia, which is suitable for the growth of the pest because of its warm and humid weather conditions.

Fall armyworm can damage 30 to 60 percent of crops as was evident in Latin America, she told The Daily Star. “We prefer biological way of controlling the fall armyworm.”

Use of chemicals in controlling the pest raises the risks of food contamination and pesticide resistance.

The CABI is currently working in 10 districts to train the field level officials on identifying the pest.

Nasreen Sultana, senior program specialist (horticulture) of SAC, said they were planning to take up a regional programme on control of fall armyworm.

India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are among the South Asian countries that face higher risks of fall armyworm outbreak as they have long summer season.

“We need to control the pest before there is an outbreak,” she said.

#79
flag of every other species, red with yellow fall armyworm: "dont tread on me"
#80

https://phys.org/news/2019-03-fate-rna-pesticides-soils.html posted:

Study first to show processes determining fate of new RNA pesticides in soils

March 1, 2019 by Brandie Jefferson, Washington University in St. Louis

A new generation of pesticides can be used to control pest insects by compromising the bug's ability to create essential proteins. These gene-silencing pesticides can be genetically engineered into agricultural crops such that these crops can literally grow their own defense.

New research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis shows how these emerging pesticides move through and degrade in soils. The research was published last month in Environmental Science & Technology.

Although the pesticide is created inside the plant, the questions about its degradation are similar to conventional pesticides applied externally to the crop: Does it break down? If so, under what conditions? In the soil? In lakes and rivers? What is the ecological risk?

Before these questions can be answered however, there needs to be a way to trace the pesticide and follow it as it moves and degrades in the ecosystem.

Kimberly Parker, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering, and a team of collaborators devised a method to track this new pesticide in soils and to begin to understand what processes affect its lifespan.

This new pesticide is a molecule of double stranded Ribonucleic acid, or RNA. When a pest eats this pesticide, it prevents the critter from making essential proteins, leading either to stunted growth or to death.

RNA is a macromolecule—meaning: it's large—and because of its size, it cannot be studied through the typical means used for conventional pesticides.

The research team devised a method to tag a pesticide molecule with a radioactive atom, allowing them to follow it as it cycled through closed soil systems representing different scenarios. They were able to quantify the pesticide and its components at just a few nanograms per gram of soil.

With their method to measure the pesticide, the research team next investigated what happens to the pesticide in several soil samples. They found that the enzymes in soil can break down the pesticide. In addition, the microbes in soil "eat" the pesticide as well as the fragments left behind by the enzyme reactions.

However, in some soils, another process occurred: the pesticide attaches to the soil particles, like minerals and organic detritus. "In agricultural soil," Parker said, "there is adsorption"—when molecules adhere to a surface. "The pesticide sticks to the soil particle," she said.

"We have found that the soil particles may actually have a protective effect on the pesticide," Parker said, "slowing down the rate of pesticide degradation." The enzymes and microbes have a more difficult time breaking down pesticides that have attached to the soil, but the degree to which the soil protects the pesticide varied among the soils tested.

"Currently our working hypothesis is that in finer soil, there are more particles available for adsorption," Parker said. The more soil particles, the more surfaces for the pesticide to stick to, enhancing that protective effect.

"Now that we have identified the major processes controlling pesticide degradation in soils, we will next investigate in detail the variables that control these processes to enable accurate ecological risk assessment of double-strand RNA pesticides," Parker said. "This will allow us to understand whether or not these new pesticides pose a risk to ecosystems."

More information: Kimberly M. Parker et al. Environmental Fate of RNA Interference Pesticides: Adsorption and Degradation of Double-Stranded RNA Molecules in Agricultural Soils, Environmental Science & Technology (2019). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b05576

RNA modifying presticides huh, i can see literally no way in which this could possibly go wrong,