Monday, September 7, 2009

You never know with bees - Science Talk

When I reported about the Science Talk podcast the first time, about three weeks ago, Science Talk - Scientific American Podcast, the actual episode I chose to report about, was about bees. More specifically, it was about the research that is being done in order to understand the problem of colony collapses.

While normally Science Talk alternates between subjects, on colony collapse, host Steve Mirsky delivered three issue consecutively. After May Berenbaum's basic explanation before a crowd of children (bee afraid, bee very afraid), there was an interview Mirsky had with Beerenbaum (To bee or not to bee) in which she not only talks about her research on bees, but more on insects more generally. In addition she addresses the prejudices people have about insects and how these play out in SciFi B-movies. And last but not least, Mirsky spoke with John Williams and May Beerenbaum (Colony Collapse and Ruptured Ribosomes; Minding Darwin's Beeswax about further developmentsi n the research; especially about the advances made with the help of genetic research.

Colony Collapse comes out as one of those ecological disasters that are looming (together with other extinctions, fatal pollution of the waters, ice cap melting and climate change etc) and that can be dramatically harmful if they will play out fully. Not only is honey making an important industry, nature needs the bees for pollinating. These disasters seem all interrelated and one can trigger the next. It makes the research all the more important and the impression is get how we are scrambling to acquire the right knowledge and technologies to help.

More Science Talk:
Science Talk - Scientific American Podcast.

More environmental gloom:
Extinctions,
How the message about Climate Change gets blurred,
Population Growth,
Fish depletion,
Human Impact on the Environment,
Climate Change will make us pay.
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