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martedì 19 agosto 2014

THE ZOMBIE BEES AND THE RESEARCHER: AN INTERVIEW

(in Eng?ish)

The interview opens with a swarm of emaciated bees chasing PiPs in a web post-apocalyptic (and a bit 'eucalyptic' too, you know, just because of some munching koalas that have been put here and there to add an 'ooooooh -big dreamy anime like eyes- so cute' touch to downplay the whole horror zombie thing) scenario which is a mix of '28 days later', 'Mary Poppins' and 'Animal house' (shush, shush, don't ask, PiPs' reality is a very very, very peculiar place).

zombees chasing PiPs_by sciencemug
by sciencemug
 
PiPs- Those damn zombie bees! Now I bet we'll have also to face the zombie flowers, and the zombie honey, and then the zombie honey-moons the zombie moons the zombie Apollo 13s and eventually the zombie Kevin Bacons! Ghaaaahhhhh, a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon zombie world... Ghaaaahhhhh... Bloody dead flying things! We're so, so doomed... Ghaaaahhhhh! 
Bee of the swarm1- Bzzrains, bzzraaains, bzzraaaa... Hey, wait a min, if we’re looking for brains, why the hell are we chasing a brainless post of an idiotic blog? 
Bos2- Dude, if there were any logic in this mess you think we'd be screaming 'brains' instead of 'pollen' in the first place? 
Bos3- We can scream?

PiPs_by sciencemug
        PiPs_by SM        
PiPs keeps running around the internet till it sees a girl at the url of San Francisco State University


P- Hey! Hey, you, what are you doing there, take shelter, they're coming! Hey, I'm talking to you, who are you?


Miss Erika Bueno's portrait_by sciencemug
E.Bueno by SM
Researcher- My name is Erika Bueno and I’m a graduate student at San Francisco State University. My research focuses on solving the mystery of zombie bees [aka ZomBees]. I would like to figure out why infected honey bees behave so strangely when parasitized by a particular kind of fly! My main goal is to study the brains of ZomBees to understand what is causing them to behave strangely!


PiPs_by sciencemugP- This is great! So you study the zombie bees (or 'ZomBees' as you call 'em), this means you certainly have the answers to my questions: what happens to these bees? What 'zombieizes' them? How? What are you doing to understand the 'how' part in detail? Why Battlestar Galactica ended in that crappy way? Do this last question make it clear to you that I don't know what I'm saying the 103% of the times?

Miss Erika Bueno's portrait_by sciencemugEB- A tiny parasitic fly called the ‘zombie fly’ (scientific name: Apocephalus borealis) [PicA] turns bees into ZomBees! Female zombie flies use a needle-like organ, the ovipositor, [PicB] to inject their eggs inside the bees bodies [PicC]. The eggs then hatch and eat honey bees guts! Parasitized honey bees, the ZomBees, behave then very strangely at night. They fly out of their hive, land underneath lights and become disoriented before dying shortly after.
 
Pic A, B, C
PIC A; PIC B; PIC C [CC pics; adapted by sciencemug (source: wikia.com)] (!)

Their zombie like behavior has led me to ask “what is causing this behavior?” And “are zombie flies controlling this behavior?” I’m answering these questions

mercoledì 13 agosto 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr 'SPECTROSCOPY' ANGSTROM!


Happy b-day Anders Jonas Ångström (by sciencemug)
Happy b-day Anders Jonas Ångström (by sciencemug)
[A.J. Ångström's picture is adapted from a Public Domain image by sciencemug (source: wikia.com)]
AJ, the 10-10 metre guy...
(Wanna know something 'bout AJ's creature, miss spectroscopy? Go here