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Government gives police new powers to protect victims of stalking… Tech Abuse: Stopping the Stalkers

I’ve got fucking hundreds of stalkers… Male and female… A cult of stalkers… They stalk your family, parents, grandparents, nephews, friends, associates, ex romantic partners, current romantic partners… I said to the police, “I’m being stalked by dozens of women, taking photographs of me” and he said “take it as a compliment”

Would you say that to a woman reporting gang rape? Fucking idiot.

The reason the police refuse to investigate is because some of their own officers are invovled.

Government gives police new powers to protect victims of stalking

Powerful new orders coming into force as of 20 January 2020 will enable police forces to better protect victims of stalking.Published 19 January 2020From:Home Office and Victoria Atkins MP

Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

New Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) will allow courts in England and Wales to move quicker to ban stalkers from contacting victims or visiting their home, place of work or study. This will grant victims more time to recover from their ordeal.

In addition to banning perpetrators from approaching or contacting their victims, SPOs can also force stalkers to seek professional help.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, almost one in five women over the age of 16 have experienced stalking, as well as almost one in ten men.

The Orders will usually last for a minimum of 2 years, with a breach counting as a criminal offence that can result in up to 5 years in prison.

Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins said:

Every year, thousands of people live with the terrifying experience of being stalked, which can lead to victims feeling isolated, abused or even losing their lives.

I am determined that we do everything we can to better protect victims and new Stalking Protection Orders will help the police to intervene and take action against perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.

In addition to the SPOs, courts will also be able to impose an interim SPO to provide immediate protection for victims while a decision is being made.

SPOs will come into effect on Monday 20 January and have the support of anti-stalking campaigners and law enforcement.

Suky Bhaker Acting Chief Executive of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust said:

Today is an important step forward in the way stalking is handled in England and Wales and an acknowledgement of the suffering victims of stalking can face.

We welcome the introduction of Stalking Protection Orders and hope to see the new order complement the existing legislation to ensure that victims receive a proactive response when they come forward and report stalking.

Professor Clive Ruggles of the Alice Ruggles Trust said:

The Alice Ruggles Trust is working hard to make stalking victims more aware of the dangers they face and to come to the police earlier than many do at present.

Stalking Protection Orders represent a powerful new tool to help the police respond in the right way when they do. It is critical, though, that there is no delay in arresting perpetrators who breach them: any other response may well escalate the risk to the victim.

We believe that the existence of SPOs could have made a critical difference in Alice’s case, and will help improve the outcome for many others in the future.

Head of the Association of the Police and Crime Commissioners, Katy Bourne, said:

Stalking is an insidious crime that takes over and destroys lives. It is vital that those affected can feel confident in reporting, knowing that early action will be taken and that the law is on their side.

These Stalking Protection Orders will allow police to apply for restrictions on the behaviour of perpetrators, excluding them from entering a particular area or from making contact with their victim in any way.

It will be a criminal offence to break the terms of an order which, I hope, will become a substantial deterrent and a way to enforce the law without adding unnecessary strain upon the victim.

Alongside the introduction of Stalking Protection Orders, the Home Office also helps fund the National Stalking Helpline, run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. The Home Office has provided £4.1 million over the last 3 years to the Metropolitan, Hampshire and Cheshire police forces as part of the Multi Agency Stalking Intervention Programme, which provides interventions with stalking perpetrators.

Tech Abuse: Stopping the Stalkers – Tonight

cyber stalking
Victims of cyber stalking have been telling ITV Tonight their stories. Credit: ITV News

It’s a chilling and deeply disturbing trend and incidents appear to be growing at an alarming rate.

In the sinister world of domestic abuse and coercive control, perpetrators have a new way of terrorising their victims – technology – and figures show tech abuse is becoming a stalker’s weapon of choice.

Research by the Tonight programme shows an 1800% increase in alleged cyber stalking offences between 2014 and 2018.

It can be a subtle as turning the heating up or down, switching lights on and off, remotely – or as blunt as hurling abuse over social media.

Extreme examples can see stalkers steal bank account and credit card details, use online passwords to control social media profiles and has sometimes seen victims killed by their stalker.

One victim, Natalie, tells presenter Julie Etchingham how her ex-husband sought to control her life through technology.Play Video

“He’s very convincing and charming,” she says. “So it’d be like ‘Oh, do you want to use this? It will be much easier…’

“So it kept a record of all my messages on the computer, but because he was also using the computer, he could reply and he could see when messages had come in.”

He soon uploaded an app to her mobile that could check in and get a snapshot of where she was at all times.

She adds: “It would sit there in the background and it would take a picture and send it to him…and coordinates of exactly where I was.”

She says he also installed cameras in the home to follow her around the house, spying on her in various rooms.

Natalie says that while police officers are experienced in dealing with ‘traditional’ cases of domestic abuse and domestic violence, cyber stalking and using technology to control someone’s life is new to them.

“The manipulation, you know, the psychological programing it has a huge effect,” she says, “because it’s relentless. It’s a constant window into your life. It’s a constant way of checking where you are.”

Lamplugh
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust says police should stop treating stalking as harassment. Credit: ITV

In the last year, domestic violence charity Refuge has documented over 4,000 people who said they’ve experienced tech abuse – that’s three-quarters of people who have used their services.

In 2017, an inspection into the way police dealt with stalking cases found they often failed to recognise stalking, and would incorrectly log it as harassment.

This mistake can be costly as the Suzy Lamplugh Trust explains: “It’s really dangerous for police to be treating stalking cases as harassment because what essentially happens is that the key component of stalking, that fixation and obsession doesn’t end up being addressed.”

Another victim, Lara, tells Julie how her controlling partner used to take over the heating of the home they shared – through his phone – turning it down whenever he wasn’t there.

“I came for a home, but I ended up in a house that it was like a prison, his prison,” she says.

“It took couple of weeks for me to understand that he was turning the heating off from afar.

“I felt scared but I wanted something just to prove what he was doing, because I thought I was going crazy.”Play Video

While most stalking cases involve current or former partners, technology is also providing a path for more random, anonymous stalkers to thrive; preying on others they have never met other than through social media.

Writer Paul was deluged on Twitter with homophobic abuse: “At the height of it, I was getting sort of 20, 30, 40, 50 tweets a day.

“Whenever I heard my phone pinging my first feeling was that sinking feeling in your stomach and that sort of cold dread of what’s it going to be now?”

While he blocked the anonymous abuser, it didn’t stop. Anyone he came into contact with through social media could find themselves receiving abuse.

He eventually reported the abuse to police and a woman was later given a suspended two-year jail term and issued with a restraining order.

In 2018, MASIP (Multi Agency Stalking Intervention Programme) was launched and aimed to improve responses to stalking across the criminal justice system and the health sector through rehabilitative treatment of stalkers with units in London, Hampshire and Cheshire.

Detective Inspector Lee Barnard, who runs the London unit, tells the programme that he believes it’s increasingly clear tech plays a big role in stalking cases.

He says: “More than any other offence type that I’ve investigated in my service, stalking is probably the most impacted by technology.

“If we’re in the business of tracking human beings, there’s a huge array of technological devices out there, apps, software that can assist with that.”Play Video

  • Tech Abuse: Stopping the Stalkers – Tonight airs on ITV at 7.30pm

If you think you’re being stalked or cyber stalked, you can find help here:

If you want to secure your devices, you can do it here:

  • Cyber Care – 07496 955219 or info@cybercare.org.uk
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Quantum Physicist Says He Communicated Telepathically With Extraterrestrials

The late Terrence McKenna said “We have what the alien abduction community doesn’t have... repeatability!” 😁 The psychedelic experience and the alien ‘abduction’ experience are one and the same… Physically you aren’t going anywhere, but your consciousness is being taken by beings or entities that we cannot possibly begin to fathom, understand or comprehend.

DMT is the key to understanding this phenomenon.

… I hope they told him the truth… that Quantum Mechanics is the biggest load of bullshit of the past 100 years! 😆😂🤣

Quantum Physicist Says He Communicated Telepathically With Extraterrestrials

Cynthia McKanzie – MessageToEagle.com – It’s not every day a scientist comes forward stating extraterrestrials are present on this planet. Even rarer are accounts of scientists who admit they have met an alien.

Deep Prasad, a quantum physicist from the University of Toronto and CEO of ReactiveQ is a firm believer in the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Quantum Physicist Says He Communicated Telepathically With Extraterrestrials

He has been interviewed on several occasions on Hot Air and has stated there may be physical evidence of such alien visitations in the form of exotic, perhaps extraterrestrial materials.

Prasad has been involved in searching evidence of the Tic-Tac’ UFO encountered by the USS Nimitz carrier group and he is very interested in the subject of life on alien worlds.

Recently he wrote about his remarkable encounter with extraterrestrials beings and explained he was in telepathic contact with these entities.

During Thanksgiving  Deep wrote a very long tweet sharing his unusual with the world.

The encounter occurred on February 1st this year.

Deep wrote the following: “It’s Thanksgiving, and this is going to be a rather complicated post. It’s also objectively not a good idea for me to write it given every Scientist has a target on their back in the UFO community (rightly so) and given that I am still a tech CEO.

Near the beginning of this year (February 1st), I had the most absurd, world-changing experience of my life. It happened in broad daylight at 9:40 in the morning in my home. More specific details will be for another time when I have a better safety net and can expand more.

But to put it simply: I was paralyzed against my will, could not move, and saw 3 entities that had no-chill. Could I be crazy? Sure. Do I think I am? Obviously not. Could this have been a hallucination? I can’t prove it wasn’t or I wouldn’t be so worried about sharing this.

These entities projected hundreds/thousands of sentences and paragraphs in a language that looked like a marriage of Japanese and Egyptian hieroglyphics. I was terrified that I could barely move and was in complete disbelief at what was happening.

I’d go back and forth between, convincing myself that I was having some sort of seizure or had fallen unconscious and that there was no way this was happening, to downright fear realizing that it all felt more real than reality.

I was scared that I couldn’t move and was not in control of the situation yet could think perfectly straight. My mind was racing. “These things are really real? Is this really happening right now? Are my family and friends ready for this if it ever happens to them? Are they going to kill me? How do I convey that I don’t want to die and that I’m not a threat?”

At the same time, I was trying to make sense of the symbols. It was incredibly frustrating that I couldn’t understand or translate them. The sentences and paragraphs would keep flipping rapidly and the only English word I saw, at least 3 times, was the word, “DNA”.

This means that whoever or whatever was doing this (even if it’s my brain), clearly understood English. But was choosing not to use it for everything. The image of my room would disappear when I raised my head a little. But it was hard to do that and I would feel extremely nauseous.

When it disappeared I realized I was no longer in my room but somewhere else. When I would put my head back down, the image of my room would come back on again and the symbols were back on again. I decided to stop fighting what was happening and for some reason no longer felt fear but total fascination.

The fear feeling would come back every now and then, but by this point, I was astutely observing everything that was going on. The color of their suits, their size, their mannerisms, the feeling that my mood was being rapidly cycled, etc.

Quantum Physicist Says He Communicated Telepathically With Extraterrestrials

Credit: Public Domain

After a certain point, one of them jumped on top of me. And slowly walked towards my head. Right before it did this, it was on the ground near my TV and displaying these beautiful golden holograms in the middle of its suit. These golden sparkles would jump around it too.

When I saw this, I immediately rolled my eyes and said “This is a f***ing joke. What is wrong with me? What are these things??” Because I assure you, they did not look like what you expect of an “ET”. These things seemed etheric in nature. Hard to describe.

Once it was on me, it walked towards me so slowly and cautiously that I felt I was being treated like an animal. I felt this weird light hitting the top of my head. And suddenly I got hit with the most blissful, euphoric feeling I have ever felt. I will try my best to describe it: It felt like the Universe was sentient and aware of my existence.

The feeling was of warmth and nostalgia(?), it was like a reminder that space is teeming with life and that we’re all related to each other by virtue of existing. I use the word “oneness”, which meant nothing to me before.

After a few minutes(?) of experiencing this, I got knocked out/lost consciousness. And woke up “instantly”. Not a minute had gone by since the experience started. I was heaving and looking around completely shocked at what just happened. I couldn’t believe no time had passed.

I STILL didn’t think what had happened could be authentic, but I question it less today than I did when it first happened. This all happened around an interesting time in my life. I had spent roughly 3 months in UFOlogy which is why I doubted the experience since I was biased.

I was debating whether to delete all my tweets on the subject because I was starting to think it was all one big scam and I was disgruntled with the lack of hard evidence. This pushed me over the edge and made me double down on my obsession. I decided I needed to find more people who had these experiences.

So I got in contact with the Toronto CE-5 group (which I left after 2 sessions cause one of the guys running it was a total lunatic). I booked a ticket to the SCU conference and would meet Hal and Lue Elizondo the next month. I needed to know.

I needed to know who these people were, what was going on and if I had officially gone crazy. A lot of you have followed me since post SCU, and I only learned more and more. My life got weirder days after this experience. Very, very weird.

First of all, another thing that had happened a few weeks before this was the suicide of someone in my circle. We were not that close but I looked up to him/related to him. Finding out about his death had me traumatized. It was affecting my work &on top of that my inner debunker/believer battles didn’t help.

Yet after the experience, I realized that feeling of oneness had not gone away. The euphoria part, sure. But I was WAYYY better off mentally. I had no more anxiety, no depression or stress or trauma. It was impossible to feel fear. I literally could not feel fear no matter how hard I tried.

I felt love for everyone, and it was very hard to make me mad. When I did, it wouldn’t last very long and sizzle out fast. I was objectively the better version of myself. My beliefs in God changed almost instantly too. I went from an atheist to being spiritual.

I started having dreams of seeing the inside of some of the UAPs we so commonly hear about. Mostly saucers and Orbs. Some of my dream characters spoke only through telepathy. I had never in my life dreamed such things until this year. I’d experience impossible electrical anomalies wherever I went the first 2 weeks after it happened.
Hot Air Editor Jazz Shaw interviews quantum physicist Deep Prasad about quantum computing and possible extraterrestrial exotic materials.

I started feeling unnerved because I felt I had lost my free will to an extent. I didn’t like that this newfound fearlessness, unconditional love and so on were not coming from me. I didn’t think I had earned it. And that it was not normal, whatever was happening to me. I considered getting an MRI done to see what parts of my brain were rewired so that I could feel this way.

It was unnatural (but extremely good and liberating). If the whole world experienced this state of mind I was in, we would level up overnight. I am convinced hate, fear, anger, depression and anxiety would disappear overnight from our society. After a couple of weeks, this feeling/state of mind dwindled down until I was back to my normal self again.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the way things were those first 2 weeks after the experience. But the next best thing is with conscious effort, I can easily go back to that state of mind. The difference is back then, it was an unconscious effort on my part.

I had my first UFO sighting just weeks after this. And have had 4 in total since. 2 of which I’ve recorded. And 3/4 times there were other people with me. So yeah, that’s me. My life changed (for the better), became much more complex and has led me to where I am today.

I don’t know what happened, nor can I prove that this isn’t me having gone crazy (I will pass any psychological test no problem but there will always be doubt, which is fair). But I’m forever grateful for the experience.

I’m thankful for everyone I’ve met since then on here. There are countless people I admire and like on here. I believe we will figure this mystery out and that Humanity has an incredible future ahead of it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.”

Many wondered what these aliens looked like and Deep confessed he is not very good at drawing, but provided a simple sketch.

Written by Cynthia McKanzie – MessageToEagle.com Staff Writer

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"When was the last time you where ill?"

“Aside from a hang over?”

“Seriously… when where you last sick? A cold, the flu, a virus?”

“… … You’ve altered my genetics. The bio nano spray in Kazakhstan… The spray that turned into dozens of bioluminescent aphids in minutes… That was some CRISPR gene editing shit.”

Combatting DiseaseThe Advance of Designer Viruses in Agriculture

Scientists believe designer viruses created in the laboratory can help the agricultural industry deal with pathogens and extreme weather. A vast experiment is currently being planned. But can the viruses be controlled?

 Martin Schlak24.09.2019

Corn plants in a greenhouse at the Boyce Thompson Institute
Corn plants in a greenhouse at the Boyce Thompson Institute Mike Bradley / DER SPIEGEL

When the biologist Michael Irey was called out to a pomelo orchard on the outskirts of Miami in 2005, he had a feeling that a catastrophe was brewing. Irey, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time, had been sent out to confirm a suspicion. He took a look at the leaves of one of the trees and saw the spots and yellow leaf veins.

There was no doubt: Huanglongbing had spread to the United States.

Also known as citrus greening disease, huanglongbing is a bacterial plant disease wherein the bacteria disrupt the nutrient transport system, essentially starving the plant. Leaves change color first and then the tree produces stunted, bitter-tasting fruit. After a few years, many infected trees die. “And we knew from other countries how fast the disease spreads,” Irey says.

Just a few days after the initial discovery, USDA staff found two additional cases, this time in orange plantations. Soon, the disease had spread across Florida. Orange production in the state has plunged by around 70 percent since 2005. If the disease continues to spread, Florida may soon grow no oranges at all.

Orange producers, not surprisingly, went on war footing — including Southern Gardens Citrus, Irey’s current employer. The company is an industry heavyweight, producing orange juice for brands like Tropicana and Minute Maid. Workers felled the infected trees and began spraying twice as often as they used to. They also gave the trees additional nutrients and conducted tests with antibiotics. But nothing really helped.

Then, Michael Irey heard about designer viruses for the first time.

The creation of custom-designed biological assistants is among the greatest promises of synthetic biology. Scientists dream of one day being able to construct viruses or bacteria from a collection of building blocks. Like a molecular delivery service, the viruses would deliver their genetic material to the cells of plants, animals or even people, where they would then fulfill their mission: boosting the production of certain proteins or directly manipulating the cell’s genetic makeup.

The technology’s potential promise for agriculture is enormous. Plant viruses that pose no danger to humans could protect olive orchards and orange plantations from disease or shield staples like corn and rice from the effects of drought or strong rains. And they could be deployed rapidly. Viruses could help farmers prepare their plants for possible threats as early as the germination phase — and humans could get the upper hand on nature faster than ever before.

Unwanted Enemies

In Florida, Southern Gardens Citrus began working on the super-viruses together with other scientists. In Europe, an association of 17 research institutions and companies receive more that 3 million euros from the EU to study the potential of such viruses for the agricultural industry. And some scientists in the U.S. have even taken a step further: They are breeding aphids and leafhoppers that will have the ability to transmit the viruses to plants. The program, which receives financing from the U.S. government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is called Insect Allies.

But those allies, it is feared, could turn into unwanted enemies.

Michael Irey checking out his orange trees.
Michael Irey checking out his orange trees. Angel Valentin/ DER SPIEGEL

Experts are concerned that the gen-tech viruses could be transmitted to other plant species and begin spreading uncontrollably. Some scientists have also issued a warning aimed specifically at the DARPA program that the technology could fall into the wrong hands and be transformed into a dangerous biological weapon. Indeed, the line between high-tech helper and horrific threat appears to be a fine one.

On the shoulder of a four-lane highway in southern Florida, Michael Irey unlocks a gate with a sign: “Notice! This gate must be kept locked!” Irey drives his pickup down a dusty dirt track, which comes to an end after a couple of kilometers at an orchard with 12 rows of orange trees. Irey says the location of the orchard is secret “for reasons of security.”

Here, not far from the town of Clewiston, a unique type of orange tree is growing. They have been infected with a designer virus created in a laboratory. Irey says the trees represent his greatest hope.

A sturdily built man, Irey walks down the rows of trees, which are still young and only reach to his shoulders. The leaves on most of them are verdantly green and Irey points to the unripe oranges. “This is the first year that they are bearing fruit,” he says proudly.

Irey is working on the tree experiment with scientists from the University of Florida. The university researchers cloned a virus called citrus tristeza, which is present in almost all orange trees in Florida but is harmless to most of them. At the same time, Irey was experimenting with genes that produce antimicrobial proteins in spinach plants, so-called defensins. These proteins, which defend their hosts from threats, were able to stunt the huanglongbing bacteria in laboratory experiments by perforating its sheath.

Promising Experiments

The scientists then combined the genetic material and the virus. It was ready for use.

Trees transport carbohydrates through phloem, a tissue that is in the innermost layer of bark. To infect the trees with the designer virus, Irey’s team scored the bark of each individual tree in the greenhouse and inserted plant matter that had been treated with the virus. The virus then spread through the phloem and found its way into the cells of the trees, from the roots all the way to the leaves. The cells were able to read the information delivered by the spinach gene and construct the defensin, which then went after the huanglongbing bacteria in the phloem. The tree was essentially producing its own medicine, without its own genes having been manipulated.

The company hasn’t yet published any of its results. Michael Irey says the virus doesn’t kill all the bacteria, but the experiments have been promising thus far. As a result, Southern Gardens Citrus has applied to the USDA for permission to deploy the designer virus to a combined area three times the size of the Alps’ Lake Constance. Approval could arrive by the end of this year, which would make it the largest field study of genetically modified plant viruses ever.

Georg Jander at the Boyce Thompson Institute
Georg Jander at the Boyce Thompson Institute Mike Bradley/ DER SPIEGEL

Michael Irey considers designer viruses to be ecologically unproblematic, even going so far as to say it helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of pesticides used against carriers of huanglongbing. He believes the risk of the designer virus spreading to other plants is virtually nil. According to studies, it neither finds its way into seeds nor do aphids, the only known carriers, pick it up. As proof, Irey planted at least one row of non-infected orange trees in each experimental orchard, a total of 8,814 trees. “We have yet not had a single incidence of (the virus) spreading in nine years,” he says.

Evolutionary biologist Guy Reeves from the Max Planck Institute has been following the research with genetically engineered viruses for several years. He isn’t the kind of person who rashly call for bans, preferring to carefully weigh possible benefits. His verdict: Of course there are dangers, such as the possibility that the virus clone from the laboratory could mutate or interact with a virus in nature and suddenly become transferable by insects. “However, under strict supervision, the risk may be manageable,” Reeves says. Still, he is concerned. “A license would set an unfortunate precedent for future technologies, particularly if they involve increasing tolerance to risk.”

Biotech Soldiers

Indeed, laboratory researchers have long since begun searching for ways to more efficiently transfer viruses to plants.

On a recent day in September, the botanist Georg Jander, 54, is standing in the basement of a nondescript gray building in the state of New York, a windowless room lit only by a few neon lights. Fifteen corn plants are on a wheeled cart, each covered with a plastic bag. A handful of aphids crawl around on each plant. “We want to see how quickly the insects infect the corn with pathogens,” Jander says.

A professor at Cornell University and a researcher with the Boyce Thompson Institute, Jander has set himself a controversial goal. Indeed, he will soon have to move his aphids into a greenhouse with elevated security provisions, including a vestibule entry system. There, he wants to get the aphids to transmit genetically engineered viruses.

Georg Jander’s research is being funded by the Insect Allies program. Around a dozen universities are involved and DARPA has provided $27 million to the project. The scientists are hoping to reach their goal by 2021: swarms of insects transmitting designer viruses from plant to plant without humans having to do much of anything at all. Six-legged biotech soldiers.

DARPA says its main focus is food security in the U.S. and that the country must be prepared for introduced pests and extreme weather. There are, of course, already corn varieties that can withstand extended periods of low precipitation, but yields tend to be low. “The insects, though,” Jander says, “deliver the drought gene only when it is needed. It ensures, for example, that the corn plants close their pores on the leaf surface to reduce water loss.”

Photosynthesis-like process found in insects

Aphids may have a rudimentary sunlight-harvesting system.

17 August 2012

SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Pigments that can harvest the Sun’s energy have a role in the metabolism of pea aphids.

The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes.

Aphids are unique among insects in their ability to synthesize pigments called carotenoids. Many creatures rely on these pigments for a variety of functions, such as maintaining a healthy immune system and making certain vitamins, but all other animals must obtain them through their diet. Entomologist Alain Robichon at the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France, and his colleagues suggest that, in aphids, these pigments can absorb energy from the Sun and transfer it to the cellular machinery involved in energy production1.

Although unprecedented in animals, this capability is common in other kingdoms. Plants and algae, as well as certain fungi and bacteria, also synthesize carotenoids, and in all of these organisms the pigments form part of the photosynthetic machinery.

Home-made harvesters

Taking their cue from the 2010 finding2 that the high levels of carotenoids found in aphids are homegrown, Robichon and his team set out to investigate why the insects make such metabolically expensive chemicals.

Carotenoids are responsible for aphid pigmentation, and an aphid’s colour determines the kind of predators that can see it. The body colour of Robichon’s lab aphids is affected by environmental conditions, with the cold favouring green aphids, optimal conditions resulting in orange ones and white ones appearing when the population is large and faced with limited resources.

When the researchers measured the aphids’ levels of ATP — the ‘currency’ of energy transfer in all living things — the results were striking. Green aphids, which contain high levels of carotenoids, make significantly more ATP than do white ones, which are almost devoid of these pigments. Moreover, ATP production rose when the orange insects — which contain an intermediate amount of carotenoids — were placed in the light, and fell when they were moved into the dark.

The researchers went on to crush the orange aphids and purify their carotenoids, demonstrating that it was these extracts that could absorb light and pass this energy on.

One of the authors, Maria Capovilla, another entomologist at the Sophia Institute, insists that much more work is needed before scientists can be sure that aphids truly photosynthesize, but the findings certainly throw up that possibility.

The way that carotene molecules are arranged in the animals adds weight to that hypothesis. The pigments form a layer between 0–40 micrometres deep under the insect’s cuticle, putting them in the perfect position to capture the Sun’s light.

Nancy Moran, an insect geneticist at Yale University in West Haven, Connecticut, who was responsible for the original discovery that aphids have the genes for carotenoid production, points out that there are many unanswered questions. “Energy production seems to be the least of an aphid’s problems — their diet is loaded with excessive sugar, most of which they cannot use,” she says.

And that begs the question of why aphids would need to photosynthesize. But Capovilla speculates that a battery-like back-up might help them in times of environmental stress, such as when they are migrating to a new host plant.

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The Jews kill the Messiah… Again!

I haven’t finished watching it yet… up to the bit when the Shin Beth officer is planning to blow al-Masirs brains out. I’m like…

“Christ… We still get shit for killing the last one! 😆😂🤣 Imagine the shit storm Israel will get if Shin Beth does it again.”

Also, 🤔 who’s his barber? He’s getting his beard trimmed somewhere!

(Find the barber Eva… you’ll find his identity)