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A study by the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Sydney has found a build-up of serotonin in the nerves of the middle part of the locust's body controlling its legs and wings causes, within the space of a couple of hours, the solitary locust to turn into its swarming alter-ego.
The finding opens the possibility of stopping the process long before it happens, by blocking the action of serotonin.
This could be used to prevent the massive destruction of crops that occurs when locusts swarm – a threat affecting the livelihoods of one-tenth of the world's population. Globally there are about a dozen species of swarm-forming locust in a belt covering some 20 per cent of the world's landmass, from north Africa to China.
Last November, a locust swarm 3.7 miles long devastated agricultural production in parts of Australia, and in 2004 half the crops of Mauritania were lost as a result of similar locust swarms.
I bet that many people went on and mentioned biblical stuff. Truth is, nothing happened.