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Caterpillars

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SCIENCE
March 23, 2010 | By Amina Khan
Moths of the Hawaiian genus Hyposmocoma are an oddball crowd: One of the species' caterpillars attacks and eats tree snails. Now researchers have described at least a dozen different species that live underwater for several weeks at a time. "I couldn't believe it," said study coauthor Daniel Rubinoff, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Hawaii at Honolulu, of the first time he spotted a submerged caterpillar. "I assumed initially they were terrestrial caterpillars . . . how were they holding their breath?"
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SCIENCE
December 30, 2013 | By Monte Morin
So you think tobacco is bad for your health? Try telling that to a tobacco hornworm: His stinky nicotine breath is the only thing keeping him off the evening dinner menu, scientists say. In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers discovered that Manduca sexta moth larvae use a form of "defensive halitosis" to ward off ravenous wolf spiders. As a tiny leaf-creeping caterpillar, M. sexta will gorge on coyote cactus plants all day, consuming more than a milligram of nicotine in a 24-hour period - the rough equivalent of one cigarette.
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SCIENCE
September 9, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have isolated a viral gene that induces zombie-like behavior — in caterpillars. The virus causes gypsy moth caterpillars to climb to the tops of trees, where they die and their disintegrating bodies rain infectious particles on their unsuspecting brethren below. The discovery, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, highlights a singular pathogen gene that manipulates the behavior of its host. Researchers had long commented on the odd behavior of caterpillars infected by the virus, dubbed LdMNPV (short for Lymantria dispar nucleopolyhedrovirus)
BUSINESS
November 22, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Investigators from the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California are looking into whether a Caterpillar subsidiary may have dumped train parts in the ocean near the Port of Long Beach as part of a scheme to conduct fraudulent train repairs, according to a regulatory filing and newspaper report.  Caterpillar Inc. disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission three weeks ago that Progress Rail, a rail and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 1986 | United Press International
Much to the disgust of residents in this San Francisco suburb, an invasion of caterpillars is thriving on the crisp, spring weather that has come to the area. "It's been so gross!" Dola Miller said Monday. "Our neighborhood is straight out of a Stephen King novel. We are talking about millions of caterpillars." Jackie Gilliam, another resident, said mealtime is difficult for her.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 1992 | KAY SAILLANT
Thousands of furry black caterpillars are infesting newly completed homes in eastern Ventura from nearby fields, wriggling across roads, up sidewalks and onto the walls and eaves of houses. Hundreds of the larvae dropped from overhead arches as they lost their grip on stucco. It's a sight that makes your skin crawl, said area resident Patricia Klee.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 1989 | From Times staff and wire service reports
There's a new twist to the maxim "You are what you eat"--caterpillars that look like what they eat. In findings published last week in the journal Science, researcher Erick Greene of UC Davis said he discovered that certain caterpillars mimic either the flower or the twig of an oak tree. Caterpillars that eat catkins--fuzzy, yellow oak flowers that bloom in the spring--are yellow with green spots dotting their rough backs in imitation of catkin markings, Greene said.
SCIENCE
July 23, 2005 | Alex Raksin, Times Staff Writer
Biologists have discovered a new species of caterpillar in the Hawaiian rain forest that ensnares snails in silken webs, then feasts on them until nothing but the shell is left. It's the first time such behavior has been documented in caterpillars -- or any member of its biological order, Lepidoptera, which includes moths and butterflies.
MAGAZINE
August 1, 2004 | Susan Heeger
Instead of anguishing over a chewed garden plant, Trish and Chris Meyer consider the tattered leaves a snack for a butterfly-in-the-making. While most gardeners measure success in dozens of roses or baskets of lettuce, the Sherman Oaks couple tote up munched plants and worry about running short. Their greenhouse, which Chris built from a kit, is full of seedlings that can be whisked in to fill gaps in the garden, lest one caterpillar go hungry.
SCIENCE
April 11, 2007 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
A genetically engineered flu vaccine made in caterpillar cells is as effective as traditional vaccines and can be produced more efficiently, according to a preliminary study released Tuesday. This experimental method could make more vaccine per batch than the traditional method, which uses hens' eggs, and shave about a month off production time, said study leader Dr. John J. Treanor, a researcher at the University of Rochester in New York.
SCIENCE
November 6, 2013 | By Amina Khan
When this tree is down in the trenches of a dry season and battling pesky leaf-eaters, it calls upon its trusty allies: ants. Ecuador laurel trees will produce an extra dose of sweet, sticky sap to attract Azteca pittieri ants that aggressively protect their arboreal home from herbivores, says a new study in PLOS Biology. Trees and ants are often sturdy allies, said lead author Elizabeth Pringle, an ecologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A complex food chain can take place among their branches: Little scale insects suck sugary sap out of the tree's innards and then poop it out as "honeydew.
SCIENCE
August 30, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
What do you see in the ethereal photo above? An electric blue caterpillar? A wispy tadpole? How about a star struggling to be born? The image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a star 4,500 light-years from Earth trying to form in the face of a powerful stellar wind. The glowing white head of the caterpillar shape is the core of the protostar. This is where the nuclear process has just begun, allowing the dense collection of gas, plasma and dust to shine with its own light, explains Zolt Levay of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. reported a 45% drop in first-quarter profit and cut its full-year outlook amid a slowdown in its mining business. The Peoria, Ill., company said mining companies continue to reduce their spending and new equipment orders remain weak after a surge last year. But Caterpillar said its sales in China increased in the quarter ended March 31, and that it's becoming more optimistic about the U.S. housing sector. "What's happening in our business and in the economy overall is a mixed picture," said Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar's chairman and chief executive.
BUSINESS
October 22, 2012
Following Friday's broad sell-off, stocks opened mixed on Monday as corporate earnings fell short of what analysts had forecast for what was already expected to be a disappointing quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points, basically flat at 13,338, shortly after the opening bell on Wall Street. The Dow fell 205 points Friday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 1,433, after opening in the negative. The Nasdaq gained nine points, or 0.3%, to 3,014.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
As quests go, the one Thousand Oaks garden designer David Snow embarked on is a doozy. For six months, Snow has devoted himself to saving the reputation of America's most beloved butterfly by getting the world's largest maker of pesticides to change its ways. Specifically, Snow wants Ortho to change the labels on its "Bug-B-Gon" and "Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer" so they no longer feature images of the striking monarch butterfly caterpillar under the ominous vow, "guaranteed results.
NEWS
April 8, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Democratic efforts to frame recent Republican policies and right-wing statements as part of a larger “war on women” led by the GOP took another step Sunday. On CNN's “State of the Union,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz portrayed Republicans as “turning back the clock for women.” “Gov. [Scott] Walkerjust signed a bill that repeals the equal pay law that they had in Wisconsin for years,” she said to host Candy Crowley. “You have Republicans that have engaged themselves for the entire Congress on trying to redefine rape as only being forceful rape, defunding Planned Parenthood and family planning programs.” Wasserman Schultz's remarks, in which she also called the GOP "callous and insensitive," follow Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus' response Thursday to allegations of a war on women on Bloomberg TV. “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and mainstream media outlets talked about the fact Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars,” Priebus said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1999
Jeremy Rifkin (Commentary, June 1) took a giant leap by suggesting that a laboratory study with monarch butterflies justifies a worldwide ban on agricultural biotechnology. The study showed that when monarch caterpillars eat enough pollen from corn containing a bacterial gene, they can be adversely affected. However, the study also showed that caterpillars apparently don't like to eat corn pollen, with or without the gene. In the laboratory, the caterpillars had no choice during four days of observation.
SCIENCE
November 6, 2013 | By Amina Khan
When this tree is down in the trenches of a dry season and battling pesky leaf-eaters, it calls upon its trusty allies: ants. Ecuador laurel trees will produce an extra dose of sweet, sticky sap to attract Azteca pittieri ants that aggressively protect their arboreal home from herbivores, says a new study in PLOS Biology. Trees and ants are often sturdy allies, said lead author Elizabeth Pringle, an ecologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A complex food chain can take place among their branches: Little scale insects suck sugary sap out of the tree's innards and then poop it out as "honeydew.
SCIENCE
September 9, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have isolated a viral gene that induces zombie-like behavior — in caterpillars. The virus causes gypsy moth caterpillars to climb to the tops of trees, where they die and their disintegrating bodies rain infectious particles on their unsuspecting brethren below. The discovery, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, highlights a singular pathogen gene that manipulates the behavior of its host. Researchers had long commented on the odd behavior of caterpillars infected by the virus, dubbed LdMNPV (short for Lymantria dispar nucleopolyhedrovirus)
NEWS
March 8, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Eric Carle's famous book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has become a foot soldier (well, a many-footed soldier) in the war against child obesity. The storybook character, beloved by parents and children since he emerged from an egg -- pop! -- on a Sunday morning in 1969 is not exactly the exemplar of good eating habits himself. But the American Academy of Pediatrics and a consortium of philanthropic groups has decided that parents can point to the omnivorous larva to convey a few important messages about healthy eating (while their wee ones poke their tiny fingers into the various fruits and food items devoured by the very hungry caterpillar)
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