GOMPERTZ LAW

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Pests, Plagues & Politics
Lecture 17
Entomologists & other Heroes
Key Points:
Ways in which insects dramatically impacted
society as we know it today
•
•
•
•
•
Biotech
Business (different types)
Philosophy
Taxonomy
Disease control
Drosophila melanogaster
Gregor Mendel
1822-1844
The monk who
started it all.
Discovered the
concept of
genetic transmission
of characters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gregor_Mendel.png
Fruit Flies & Genetics
• Small physical size
– easily reared in confined space
– little danger to experimenter
• Cost efficient
• Short life span (time efficient)
• Stable population
– ubiquitous & expendable
• Selected matings easily controlled
Fruit Flies & Genetics, cont.
• Experimental “confounds” are easy to
account for and/or reduce
• Intricate & elaborate experiments
possible
– e.g., 40,000 matings to produce the data set
necessary to win the 1995 Nobel Prize in
Physiology & Medicine
• Results are easily generalized
Fruit Flies & Genetics
• “…during the heyday of Drosophila,
almost all significant basic concepts in
transmission genetics were either first
developed by Drosophila workers or
conspicuously verified by them”
– S.W. Brown: History of Entomology
www.fruitfly.org
*Fruitflies and Biotech: Five top Biotech Companies in 2006
Revenue
(Millions)
1
2
3
4
5
Amgen
Genentech
Genzyme
UCB
Gilead Sciences
USA
14,268.0
USA
11,724.0
USA
3,187.0
Belgium 3,169.6
USA
3,026.1
http://www.fiercebiotech.com/special-reports/amgenbiotech-marketshare-report
No.
employees
3,366.0 2,950.0 20,100
2,995.0 2,740.0 10,001+
650.0 (16.8) 9,000+
772.6 461.1 8,477
383.9 (1,190.0) 7,575
http://crunchiesfood.com/press/amgen-tour-of-california2010-day-2/
The humble fruit fly
Could just be responsible for getting your life insurance
premium reduced!!
GOMPERTZ
LAW
• Benjamin Gompertz - 19th century British
polymath
• “Risk of death grows exponentially as we
age until finally reaching 100%”
• You respond with: “So what?”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Gompertz
http://www.censusscope.org/us/chart_age.html
http://www.econguru.com/fundamentals_of_ecology/populations.html
Men live shorter than women partly because of risky behavior
Long term care cost
300
250
Series2
Cheap
Yearly cost $
Series3
All out
200
150
100
50
0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55
Age
Fruit Fly “M&Ms”
Morgan and Muller
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/
1933/morgan-article.html?print=1
For your interest
http://www.dipity.com/yodaseo/Emperor-of-All-Maladies/
Fruit Flies & Genetics
• T.H. Morgan @ Columbia University, turned
the fruit fly into the “queen bee of
genetics.”
• H.J. Muller discovered that x-ray & other
forms for short-wave radiation spectacularly
increased the genetic mutation frequency.
– Lead to the “dominant lethal” gene(s)
– Ultimately gave us the “Sterile Insect Technique”
For your interest
Applications, *SIT
For your interest
http://www.pnri.dost.gov.ph/pnri.php?pnri=nrd
Insects & Philosophy: AESOP
•
•
•
•
A Greek living around 2,500 B.P
A historical personage who might have been fictitious.
Reputed to be a slave, physically deformed and deaf
A Poet
– homilies exhorting the reader to a better life
– more than 25 insects are found in his writings
The ANT & the GRASSHOPPER
http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/milowinter/32.htm
ARISTOTLE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aristotle_Altemps_Inv8575.jpg
• The founder of entomology as a science
• Gave us the first functional system of
insect classification
– bloodless animals having more than
four feet and some having wings
– being neither bony nor fleshy
– their body is rigid within and without
ARISTOTLE
• Gave us the first DICHOTOMOUS
identification system (“keys”)
• Two versions
– One based on wings
– One based on mouthparts
For your interest
Aristotle's Key
I. WINGED
1) with elytra
2) without elytra
• a. four wings
• b. two wings
II. WINGLESS
• MOUTH PARTS
1. Having teeth and being omnivorous
2. Without teeth, but with a proboscis
a. feeding on all saps (flies)
b. sucking on blood only (mosquitoes)
c. feeding on sweet saps only (bees)
ARISTOTLE on reproduction
• He recognized four types of reproduction:
– Sexual
• with copulation (most large animals)
– Asexual by sprouting
• some plants
– Asexual without copulation
• most plants, fish & HONEY BEES
– Spontaneous generation or abiogenesis
• insects - Crustacea - some plants
For your interest
Insects: Disease control
*Baghdad “Boil”
• As if bullets and mortars weren’t enough
• Along comes an ARBOR disease
• Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
What’s Cutaneous
Leishmaniasis?
• A parasitic infection vectored by a fly!!!
• Produces open sores that are gross and
a long time in healing and can leave
permanent scarring.
• Sensitive viewers- the next few slides
may upset you.
Symptoms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutaneous_leishmaniasis
The parasite
Leishmania major
A single-cell protozoan.
http://www.img.cas.cz/mci/introduction.php
The Vector
• A true fly in the Order Diptera
– Family Psychodidae
• The sand flies & moth flies
– Lutzomyia longipalpis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutzomyia
Key Points:
Ways in which insects dramatically impacted
society as we know it today
•
•
•
•
•
Biotech
Business (different types)
Philosophy
Taxonomy
Disease control
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