Creating insecticides to target specific pests without harming beneficial species
Using spider toxins to study the proteins that let nerve cells send out electrical signals, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have stumbled upon a biological tactic that may offer a new way to protect crops from insect plagues in a safe and environmentally responsible way. Their finding — that naturally occurring insect toxins can be lethal for one species and harmless for a closely related one — suggests that insecticides can be designed to target specific pests without harming beneficial species like bees.
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