Not crazy, just weird
—prev next—
Not crazy, just weird

clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead:

IS BEING HYDRATED REALLY WORTH ALL THIS PEEING?

theprofessorstrikesagain:

mindblowingscience:

pickledpennies:

m00nchaser:

If bees become extinct we will have exactly 4 YEARS to live on this planet. I don’t understand how “not giving a fuck” is more important than your life…

okay, I have a thing to say about this. I’m no expert on bees, but I am a biologist (and entomologist) so I think there is something I can contribute that’ll be of worth.

I agree entirely with the sentiment that we must protect honeybees. Obviously they are massively important for biodiversity, as well as pollinating food crops for humans. There is no doubt that if all the honeybees in the world were to vanish in a day that the consequences would be dire.

However, I disagree that the main cause for concern regarding honeybee death is the use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. I’d be very interested to read a research paper that says ‘GM crops have killed millions of honeybees’, if indeed such a paper exists because in all honesty I find it highly unlikely that this is a true statement.

Let’s start with some facts about GM crops:

1. The development of GM crops is a highly regulated process, bound by strict country-specific legislature. A great number of trials are carried out long before commercial planting of a GM crop is even considered. It is these trials, and accompanying laboratory studies, that ensure a GM crop is safe to non-target organisms (such as honeybees) by investigating direct and indirect effects (Nap et al. 2003).

2. Crops that are genetically modified to express insecticidal proteins (for crop pest control) have a high level of specificity. This means that the insecticidal proteins being produced by the GM plant will only affect a narrow range of insect groups because of the chemical properties of the protein. For example, GM crops expressing insecticidal proteins sourced from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) will only target some Lepidopteran pests (caterpillars; Romeis et al. 2006). Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis of the literature found that GM Bt crops do not negatively affect the survival of adult honeybees or their larvae (Duan et al. 2008).

3. GM crops can be tailored such that the novel gene is expressed only in particular parts of the plant. For example, GM Bt rice plants express the toxin in the stems but not the grains (Datta et al. 1998). This technique means that gene expression can be excluded from the flowers/pollen of the crop plant, so that bees and other pollinators would not be affected. Neat, huh?

So those are a token few reasons why GM crops are safer than perhaps many people believe (as the result of a lot of questionable, non-scientific articles). To come back to our main point about honeybee death, I would like to briefly mention a few alternative explanations for the recent decline in honeybee populations. These are as follows:

1. Many bees have died as the result of broad-spectrum insecticide use. These are pesticides that lack specificity, and can be harmful to non-target organisms. Neonicotinoids are a well-studied example of this (Decourtye & Devillers, 2010). Not to worry, though, because many broad-spectrum pesticides including neonics are well on their way out. Indeed, the EU recently banned a large cohort of neonic pesticides. This is still a topic of controversy, mind (Goulson, 2013).

2. Many bees have died as the result of Varroa mite infestation. Imagine you’ve been bitten by several ticks, except those ticks are the size of dinner plates. That gives you an idea of the severity of a Varroa mite infestation on a single developing bee. The parasitisation of bees by Varroa mites and other parasites is often accompanied by disease transmission. This can result in colonies dying within two years after infestation (Johnson, 2011).

3. Many bees have died as the result of ‘colony collapse disorder’.  This is a phrase that has popped up a lot recently, and is basically an umbrella term for the various causes of bee death including parasite infestation, disease transmission, environmental stresses, and management stresses such as poor nutrition (Johnson, 2011). Colony collapse has been attributed to broad-spectrum pesticide use in some instances. However, it is has still been observed in countries where broad-spectrum pesticides have been withdrawn (in the EU, like I mentioned earlier; Johnson, 2011).

So those are my main points. Please excuse the bullet-point nature of this; I was trying to keep it fairly short. Not sure I managed that haha. But anyway, my take-home message is that GM crops are not the enemy when it comes to honeybee decline. If anything, bees are at much greater danger from the use of broad-spectrum pesticides and from parasites and diseases. Using GM can even help to alleviate some of the problems associated with broad-spectrum pesticides, as they greatly reduce the need to apply such chemicals (Romeis et al. 2006).

A finishing note: Do your homework. Go on google scholar and read some of the literature, making sure it is recent (within the past 10-15 years). Literature reviews are a great way to find out what the consensus is on any given topic. Don’t use popular media as your main source of information where science is concerned; they tend to favour scandal and exaggeration. You want to know what’s really going on? Check out some research articles and see for yourself.

Thanks for sticking it through to the end of this impromptu mini-essay! —Alice

References:

Datta, K., Vasquez, A., Tu, J., Torrizo, L., Alam, M. F., Oliva, N., Abrigo, E., Khush, G. S., & Datta, S. K. (1998). Constitutive and tissue-specific differential expression of the cryIA (b) gene in transgenic rice plants conferring resistance to rice insect pest. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 97(1-2), 20-30.

Decourtye, A., & Devillers, J. (2010). Ecotoxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees. In Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (pp. 85-95). Springer New York.

Duan, J. J., Marvier, M., Huesing, J., Dively, G., & Huang, Z. Y. (2008). A meta-analysis of effects of Bt crops on honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). PLoS One, 3(1), e1415.

Goulson, D. (2013). Neonicotinoids and bees: What’s all the buzz?. Significance, 10(3), 6-11.

Johnson, R. (2011). Honey bee colony collapse disorder. DIANE Publishing.

Nap, J. P., Metz, P. L., Escaler, M., & Conner, A. J. (2003). The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. The Plant Journal, 33(1), 1-18.

Romeis, J., Meissle, M., & Bigler, F. (2006). Transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins and biological control. Nature biotechnology, 24(1), 63-71.

This commentary is SO important. Succinct and with proper sourcing; beautiful.

It infuriates me when people blame GMO for everything without actually examining the evidence.

*AGGRESSIVELY HIGHLIGHTS THIS ENTIRE POST*

theweniswarmer:

It’s Time
A mix of classic, retro, and different Halloween Songs
This is Halloween - Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack
Monster Mash - Selebrities
Day of the Dead - Voltaire
Thriller - Michael Jackson
It’s Terror Time Again - Scooby Doo on Zombie Island
Brains! - Voltaire
Ghost Busters Theme - Ray Parker Jr.
Feed Me (Git it) - Little Shop of Horrors
Grim Grinning Ghosts - Disney’s Haunted Mansion
The Greatest Show Unearthed - Creature Feature
Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Oogie Boogie - The Nightmare Before Christmas
Friends on the Other Side - Disney’s The Princess and The Frog
Worst Pies in London - Sweeney Tod
I Put a Spell on You - Hocus Pocus Soundtrack
Dinner with Drac - John “The Cool Ghoul” Zacherle
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
Welcome to My Nightmare - Alice Cooper
The Headless Horseman - Disney’s Ichabod & Mr. Toad
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie
The Addam’s Family Song - The Addam’s Family Soundtrack
Witch Doctor - Peter Pan Records
Grave Robber at Large - Creature Feature
Spooky Scary Skeletons - TheLivingTombstone mix

LISTEN HERE (X)


yaaaaaas

theweniswarmer:

It’s Time

A mix of classic, retro, and different Halloween Songs

  1. This is Halloween - Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack
  2. Monster Mash - Selebrities
  3. Day of the Dead - Voltaire
  4. Thriller - Michael Jackson
  5. It’s Terror Time Again - Scooby Doo on Zombie Island
  6. Brains! - Voltaire
  7. Ghost Busters Theme - Ray Parker Jr.
  8. Feed Me (Git it) - Little Shop of Horrors
  9. Grim Grinning Ghosts - Disney’s Haunted Mansion
  10. The Greatest Show Unearthed - Creature Feature
  11. Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
  12. Oogie Boogie - The Nightmare Before Christmas
  13. Friends on the Other Side - Disney’s The Princess and The Frog
  14. Worst Pies in London - Sweeney Tod
  15. I Put a Spell on You - Hocus Pocus Soundtrack
  16. Dinner with Drac - John “The Cool Ghoul” Zacherle
  17. The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
  18. Welcome to My Nightmare - Alice Cooper
  19. The Headless Horseman - Disney’s Ichabod & Mr. Toad
  20. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie
  21. The Addam’s Family Song - The Addam’s Family Soundtrack
  22. Witch Doctor - Peter Pan Records
  23. Grave Robber at Large - Creature Feature
  24. Spooky Scary Skeletons - TheLivingTombstone mix

LISTEN HERE (X)

yaaaaaas

Somebody set the Mike Brown Memorial on fire

x09:

eurotrottest:

dynastylnoire:

thickthighing:

What the actual fuck.

It’s real

http://www.refinery29.com/2014/09/74962/michael-brown-memorial-fire-ferguson

OH MY FUCKING ARE U KIDDING ME

View image on Twitter

http://unikitties.tumblr.com/post/98213428589/kawaikunaii-on-one-hand-i-hate-all-about-that

kawaikunaii:

On one hand, I hate All About That Bass because it’s still surface level fat positivity. It’s basically only rooting for semi-chubby, well-shaped, feminine women. It throws skinny people under the bus. And it places the value of a women in how men perceive them.

On the other…

thefitrasta:

Justin Lynch beating Michael Phelps record at just 16

ryaninwonderland:

condom:

antiplastic:

ryaninwonderland:

there is a reason 12 year olds should not be on tumblr

image

image

that is the reason in case any of you were confused 

lipsnlimbs:

This is so real

lipsnlimbs:

This is so real