Protecting Coffee Crops: Beetles and Bugs

THE coffee-berry borer is a pesky beetle. It is thought to destroy $500m-worth of unpicked coffee beans a year, thus diminishing the incomes of some 20m farmers. The borer spends most of its life as a larva, buried inside a coffee berry, feeding on the beans within. To do so, it has to defy the toxic effects of caffeine. This is a substance which, though pleasing to people, is fatal to insects—except, for reasons hitherto unknown, to the coffee-berry borer. But those reasons are unknown no longer. Read the rest at The Economist.

Which Bacteria Decompose Your Bloated Body?

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Americans insist on experiencing “death with dignity.” The reality, however, is that death is not even remotely a dignified process, particularly if nature is allowed to take its course unimpeded. Once you shuffle off this mortal coil, your body goes through a series of drastic changes, each stage more ghastly than the last. Continue reading