Most of us have taken a trip to a lake or another body of water. It’s truly a sight to behold; the shimmering blue water and the bright green trees surrounding the lake are truly beautiful. But we all know that this magnificent sight is not uninterruptable. Get too close to the water, and you’ll be welcomed by a very inviting swarm of mosquitoes and gnats ready to feast on their new guest. The opposite goes for the flies that are instead trying to get a share of your barbecue.
There are many little pesky creatures out in the world, and while it might seem like they have no purpose in life, some of them are necessary to keep our environment healthy and under control. Other hold secrets to finding the cure for some of the deadliest diseases and can help us out personally on a day to day basis.
Although maggots are the larvae of flies, they do something incredible that once they age, they can no longer do. They do more than just decompose like their older counterparts.
Arguably more disgusting than their parents, maggots decompose but are used for something else by our doctors! First used by Napoleon’s surgeons, Maggot debridement therapy, as it is called today, is used to treat large wounds and ulcers. They are placed in the wounds where they feed on the dead tissue while ignoring the healthy regions.
The larvae also help clean out the wound but can be the cause of new infections if left in for too long. Once the patient is declared finished by the doctor, they cover up the wound, so the larvae have to resurface for air. Maggot therapy may not be the most pleasant or advanced operation, but its effectiveness has been proven time and time again.
We all know that bees produce honey, help pollinate flowers, and are essential to our existence, but wasps are just known as aggressive insects that do not do much to help the environment. Wasps eat many small insects that can damage crops and also offer another positive trait. The wasp’s stingers that familiarize themselves with pain for many actually might be able to cure one of the deadliest diseases, breast cancer.
In the case of the Brazilian wasp, its venom has been known to destroy cancer cells while leaving the healthy ones unaffected.While scientists don’t yet know how it can differentiate between the two, they think that it could have something to do with the outer and inner membrane of the two cells. The Brazilian wasp’s safe cancer treatment is still being perfected and has to be tested on mice before it can be mass produced for human use.
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Whether it be during the Triassic period or in your home, Cockroaches have thrived for the last 300 million years on this planet and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. They’re one of the most hated insects and can spread many diseases, but haven’t you ever wondered how they have managed to survive for so long? Scientists have found out that the brains of German cockroaches contain multiple antibiotic agents, each used to target a specific type of infection or bacteria.
The researchers used these chemicals against strands of E. Coli and drug resistant bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The studies show that they were able to kill off 90% of both MRSA and E. Coli while our modern antibiotics could do hardly anything.
This means that cockroaches can easily fend off dangerous infections on their extremities or their abdomen, but if they get a brain infection it could turn out to be extremely deadly for them. But they seem to do ok without heads as well since they can live without it for a couple of weeks.
One of the deadliest “pests” on the list, scorpions are known for their painful and sometimes deadly stings. Ironically, the venom that causes so much pain and suffering are starting to be turned into a painkiller. One of the chemicals that is found in scorpion venom has been found to help ease certain types of pain.
Sadly, like many other pain medications, it seems like scorpion venom might be addictive. In some countries, people pay to get purposely stung on their hands and feet to get a Euphoric feeling. This gives an all too real meaning to the term “deadly high.” If scientists can somehow bypass the addiction, scorpion venom can help out with other diseases too. It seems as if their venom can help cure Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It has also been shown to be effective at stopping cancer from progressing or spreading to other parts of the body. Because it can also be very dangerous (it is scorpion venom), the research is very slow, and it might be a long time until we can get to use medicine containing scorpion venom.
We’ve all heard that annoying chirping sound coming from outside when it’s night time. Those sounds that come from a cricket rubbing their upper and lower wings together is called stridulating and is a form of communication between crickets. Aside from making those obnoxious chirping sounds, crickets have a lot of nutritional value.
They are filled with protein; 2 times more than you would get from beef. Because of this, there are many companies that are starting to make cricket filled protein bars, some of them having up to 26 crickets in each bar! Aside from being a great source of protein, you get great amounts calcium, iron and B vitamins.
The reason for this is, when you eat one of the cricket bars, you’re eating the entirety of the insect, bones included. This makes cricket ingestion a great way for lactose intolerants to get a healthy dose of calcium without having to get near any dairy products. Although, if you’re interested you might want to buy them from stores, as it’s not recommended to eat crickets that you eat outside as they could have been in contact with unhealthy chemicals.
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Like snakes, spiders are thought of as scary, dangerous animals, but most of them are harmless and beneficial (to humans; not to other bugs). Their diet consists of insects that we don’t like or that can become annoying in large numbers. They even control their population because spiders are cannibalistic and the female will eat the male spider after mating.
The silk that spiders produce is also incredibly strong, stronger than steel of the same thickness, and could have many modern day applications.Scientists are starting to use silk to make stronger, more flexible armor but to produce spider silk vastly, scientists got help from goats.
The reason for this is that it is very difficult for people to farm spiders because of their cannibalistic nature. The drawback between these spiders infused goats is that their silk has yet to match the strength of original spider silk. Maybe in the future scientists can perfect the spider goat and vastly change the future. Until then we just have to admire spiders for their great insect extermination skills.