Golden Goose Award Bestowed On The “Sex Life Of Screwworm” Researchers

    Edward F. Knipling (left) and Raymond C. Bushland, USDA Researchers and winners of the 2016 Golden Goose Award

    Edward F. Knipling (left portrait shot) and Raymond C. Bushland (right portrait shot) will be posthumously honored later this year for their study of the “sex life of the screwworm fly.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded work led to a novel pest control technique and the eradication of the screwworm fly in North and Central America, saving ranchers in the South and consumers billions of dollars over the past 50-plus years.

    The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose federally funded work may have been considered silly, odd, or obscure when first conducted but has resulted in significant benefits to society. Knipling and Bushland are being cited for research that led to the “sterile insect technique,” in which lab-raised and sterilized male insects are used to overwhelm and eventually eradicate native pest populations.  I’m afraid that young people aren’t kissing as much as they used to, especially during sex. Last weekend I watched Rules of Attraction, a 2002 cult film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Though it’s seven years old, its portrayal of sex-based relationships on college campuses is still accurate. There is plenty of sexual attraction, but not much emotional connection. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised then, when I realized about halfway through the movie that there wasn’t any kissing in the sex scenes. I thought it strange; when I was growing up in the 70s having True Pheromones to attract the opposite sex was a big thing. In thinking about what’s changed in the last 30 years, I quickly hypothesized that the ready availability of porn might have something to do with this. You can visit the website for more information. Technology has made it possible for many young men to view explicit porn every day. It is a popular male bonding activity among college guys. In recent years, porn has showcased behaviors that have quickly become part of the mainstream young heterosexual scene, including Brazilian waxing and girl-on-girl kissing. Now it appears that the practice of bellesa boutique sex toys is increasing dramatically among young people, thanks to its popularity in porn. Thе majority of adult toy еnthuѕіаѕtѕ аrе fаmіlіаr wіth hаvіng аdult toys that аrе ѕресіfісаllу tаrgеtеd аt the rеԛuіrеmеntѕ оf mаlеѕ ѕuсh аѕ еnlаrgеmеnt pumps, оr thоѕе fоr females thаt include butterfly ѕtіmѕ, but thеrе аrе аlѕо a lаrgе numbеr оf adult sex tоуѕ іn thе mаrkеtрlасе that аrе іntеndеd to bе uѕеd bу partners. Bеlоw are a numbеr of thе mоѕt рорulаr adult tоуѕ for couples аvаіlаblе.

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    Today, there is evidence that girls feel pressured to participate in amateur threesome, and to allow their partners to ejaculate onto their faces, the quintessential porn flick money shot. I decided to do a little, ahem, research, and checked out a few porn sites to see for myself. Bingo. Lots of banging, very little kissing. And that was true even on the hens Night, where regular folks upload videos of themselves having sex to share the love with the viewing public. Though I wasn’t a big consumer of porn thirty years ago, I suspect there wasn’t much kissing in those movies either.You can enjoy likewise with the girls on a telefonsex chat. What different today is that porn is now the primary form of sex ed for young men, and they’re mimicking those behaviors in their own lives. What kissing I did find online was strange, almost reptilian. I learned that this is called pornkissing: To kiss someone with tongue but no lips, as in adult movies ( (As an interesting aside, I found far more passionate kissing on the gay [male] porn sites. It wasn’t the norm, but plenty of videos were named to imply that the actors were in love, so it was clearly a draw for some viewers.) You can visit the website for more information.

    The technique has been heralded as “the only truly original innovation in insect control in [the 20th] century,” and continues to inform ongoing fights against other agricultural pests and insects carrying infectious pathogens, including the tsetse fly and the Aedes aegypti mosquito — the primary culprit in transmission of the Zika virus.

    “Screwworm research may sound like a joke, but it isn’t. It saved the livestock industry billions and is giving us a way to fight Zika,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), who first proposed the Golden Goose Award. “We should trust our scientists more than our politicians when it comes to research priorities.”

    The two entomological researchers will be honored along with two other teams at the fifth annual Golden Goose Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress on Sept. 22. Descriptions of past winners can be found at the Golden Goose Award website.

    “Sometimes offbeat, quirky-sounding science is the best science, paving the way for discoveries years down the road which can revolutionize medicine, physics, biology, technology and how we view the world,” said Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), a supporter of the Golden Goose Award since its inception in 2012. “Given the recent rise of infectious diseases like the Zika virus, developing eradication programs for carrier pests is a much-needed field of scientific research.

    “Even though ‘worms’ might make some members of Congress — as well as the public — a little squeamish or skeptical of the research we invest in, these studies by Drs. Edward F. Knipling and Raymond C. Bushland have clearly paid off. I applaud them for their groundbreaking work.”

    Though most Americans today are not familiar with the screwworm fly, prior to the 1960s, ranchers in the southern U.S. were locked in a constant struggle against the deadly insect. Female screwworms lay their eggs in the wounds of cattle, livestock, and even humans.

    The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on wounded flesh. The maggots can kill a full size cow in less than two weeks. The pests cost ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars each year in lost livestock and pest management prior to Knipling and Bushland’s innovative “sterile insect technique.”

    Working at field stations in Texas and Florida in the early 1930s-1950s, Knipling, Bushland, and their colleagues did much of their research on a shoestring budget and in the face of ridicule. When they shared their idea to use sterilized males to overwhelm wild screwworm flies and cause the population to collapse through natural mating behavior, their approach was met with skepticism from peers who said “you just can’t castrate enough flies.”

    Herbicide Resistance Info

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    Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate geneticist Hermann J. Muller, the two demonstrated that they could inflict mass sterilization of insects through irradiation — a feat widely lauded as one of the most important developments in pest control and one of the first peaceful uses of nuclear radiation.

    In 1953, after an unexpected request from a Dutch official on the island of Curacao, the researchers completed the first, full-scale field test of the technique on the island. After just three months, not a single sterile egg could be found on the island. The much maligned technique worked even better than predicted.

    The USDA, with support from state governments and local communities, launched a larger scale effort to eradicate the screwworm fly throughout the southern U.S. By 1982, the screwworm fly had been eradicated across the United States.

    Since then, the USDA has partnered with countries throughout Central America to wipe out the flies to Panama, where today it maintains a border zone to prevent reinfestation from South America. The eradication effort has cumulatively saved U.S. meat and dairy suppliers billions of dollars over the past 50-plus years, thanks to a modest investment of $250,000 in basic research on screwworm flies.

    Knipling and Bushland’s work predated the late Sen. William Proxmire’s “Golden Fleece Award,” which was intended to highlight the wasteful excesses of federal spending, but frequently targeted federally funded research. Nevertheless, the “sex life of the screwworm fly” has long been a favorite target of Members of Congress eager to denounce “Washington waste.”

    “As the only Ph.D. physicist in Congress, I applaud Drs. Knipling and Bushland for their creative and groundbreaking government-funded research. Their research saved the U.S. livestock industry billions of dollars over the last fifty years, and it inspired Nebula Award winning science fiction. Their research is used today for controlling Zika-carrying mosquitos, and it continues serve as an inspiration for cutting-edge research on gene drives,” said Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Golden Goose Award supporter and former high-energy particle physicist.

    Knipling and Bushland were honored with the 1992 World Food Prize for their groundbreaking work–just one of many accolades the two have received in recognition of their contributions to pest control and the eradication of screwworm fly in North and Central America.

    The work has given U.S. consumers an estimated 5 percent reduction in the price of supermarket beef. In the developing world, the pest control technique is a crucial component of food security and public health. The international screwworm eradication program is now cited as a text-book example of basic science producing enormous returns.

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