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February 23, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A hormone is the secret behind the unusual ability of young swallowtail caterpillars to disguise themselves as bird droppings and then as the leaves they live on before becoming butterflies, Japanese researchers found. The researchers said in Friday's journal Science that a special juvenile hormone keeps larvae of the butterfly Papilio xuthus, common in Japan, in their black and white bird- excrement camouflage. Then levels of this hormone drop, triggering the green-leaf phase.
January 26, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of bulldozers and excavators, said fourth-quarter earnings rose 11% as demand from China, Russia and South Africa helped overcome slower sales in the U.S., where recession is "a definite threat." Net income increased to $975 million, or $1.50 a share, from $882 million, or $1.32, a year earlier, the Peoria, Ill.-based company said. Sales gained 10% to $12.1 billion. Overseas sales accounted for about 56% of the year's $45 billion in revenue.
October 20, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Wall Street suffered a broad-based rout Friday, taking key stock indexes back to where they were before the Federal Reserve's Sept. 18 interest rate cut. Fresh concerns about the economy's health sent all 10 major industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 lower, with 481 of the index's issues declining. The S&P index sank 39.45 points, or 2.6%, to 1,500.63. The Dow Jones industrials lost 366.94 points, or 2.6%, to 13,522.02. The Nasdaq composite index slid 74.15, or 2.7%, to 2,725.16.
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.
October 21, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Stocks preserved their fourth straight weekly gain Friday as earnings from Google and 3M beat analysts' estimates and oil dropped below $57 a barrel, lifting companies that depend on consumer spending. "Everyone's waiting for things to slow down here, but the information we are getting from corporate America is that things are fine," said Philip Tasho, who helps manage $450 million as chief investment officer of Tamro Capital Partners.
October 21, 2006 | From Reuters
Caterpillar Inc. reported disappointing quarterly earnings and cut its 2006 and 2007 forecast on slowing demand for its earth-moving equipment and rising raw material prices that are eroding margins. Caterpillar said a number of factors weighed on third-quarter results, including costs related to settling a dispute with Navistar International Corp. that reduced earnings per share by 8 cents. But the chief culprits were slowing machinery sales, as the slowdown in the U.S.
October 22, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Wall Street closed mixed but mostly higher Friday, with Caterpillar's lackluster profit report dragging down the Dow Jones industrials while Google's soaring shares led Nasdaq higher. Friday's session closed out a turbulent week that raised new concerns about inflation and the outlook for corporate earnings but also saw oil prices at their lowest level since late July.
August 1, 2005 | William Hathaway, Hartford Courant
When the Arizona tiger moth caterpillar gets a bug, the medicine it needs suddenly tastes good. When the caterpillar is infected with potentially lethal parasites, it develops a hankering for plants that contain a toxin that kills the parasites, scientists at Wesleyan University and the University of Arizona reported last week in the journal Nature. "It's like if you got sick and penicillin started to taste good," said Elizabeth A.
July 30, 2005 | Brad Wible, Times Staff Writer
In an unusual evolutionary adaptation, caterpillars infected by parasites developed an enhanced appetite for chemicals that killed the invaders, researchers reported in the journal Nature this week. Taste bud-like cells of the parasitized caterpillars grew more sensitive to the chemicals, researchers said, explaining previous observations that the caterpillars changed their eating habits when they got sick, actively seeking out plants to treat their infestation.
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.
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