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For decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong.
A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them.
In as little as five years, the sugar-rejecting trait had become so widespread that the bait had been rendered useless.
"Cockroaches are highly adaptive, and they're doing pretty well in the arms race with us," said North Carolina State University entomologist Jules Silverman, discoverer of the glucose aversion in that Florida kitchen during a bait test.
The findings illustrate the evolutionary prowess that has helped make cockroaches so hard to stamp out that it is jokingly suggested they could survive nuclear war.
Originally posted by sled735
reply to post by Trueman
You make a good point.
I just can't imagine what good could come from such a disgusting bug!
If one implants a foreign tissue in the cockroach's abdomen, the GRs become activated and begin to encapsulate the implant by flattening and wrapping around it. The activated GRs show considerable increase in the number of both the microtubules and the nuclear pores of the nuclear envelope. Such structural changes in an activated arthropod immunocyte and their functional significance in its immune reaction against a foreign tissue have not been previously reported.
Karp began by injecting his roaches with honeybee venom. He gave them two weeks to mount whatever immune response they could, and then injected them with another dose--this one large enough to be lethal. Not only did the roaches survive the onslaught but their immune response seemed up to even human standards. It was specific to honeybee venom--subsequent injection of a similar dose of snake venom killed them--and it had a memory. You could rest these animals almost two months and then challenge them with the honeybee venom again, and essentially it acted like a booster, says Karp. You got these tremendous, very quick reactions to the venom.