Category Archives: Biomaterials

Living With Amino Acid Balance

Amino acids are limiting nutrients for growth, development, reproduction and fecundity of most insects. Many insects are adapted to grow and develop on foods that are deficient in essential amino acids or diets with protein and amino acid content far less … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Gut Microbes

All animals have microbes in the gut. Some animals have dozens of different bacteria, but others have only a few. The typical honey bee adult worker has in its gut about 1 billion bacteria but only 8 types. These bacteria … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Keeping An Open Channel

In plants, most sugar is transported in the phloem passing through units stacked the length of the plant called sieve tubes. Each sieve tube contains valves that can open or block flow of sugar.  The valves are formed by proteins … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Dragonfly Power

Insect wings are flexible without being flaccid. They change shape when air pressure is applied. The ability to bend the wings can change the direction of pressure forces on the wing. Flexible wings can bend in ways that improve thrust without … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Insect Inspired | 1 Comment

A Painful Mixture

Bee venom is complex with at least 10 polypeptides present. I posted last time about the pain inducing effects of melittin. What do the other peptides do? Like melittin, apamin, mast-cell degranulating peptide, and a PLA2-related peptide caused inflammatory responses … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Health | Leave a comment

Why Bee Stings Cause Pain

Worker honey bees will sting to defend their hive. Honey bee venom is a cocktail of chemical agents with many pharmacological effects. Much of the pain from a sting may be due to melittin, a polypeptide that comprises 40-60% of … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal | 3 Comments

Illustrating the Insect Brain

Ramon y Cahal is considered the “Father of Neuroscience”. He was passionate about the inner workings of the brain and sought to better understand the human condition by understanding the brain. Ramon y Cahal was a superb histologist and illustrator … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Taxonomy, Vision | 2 Comments