Wednesday 11 April 2012

J for Juvenile Hormone

Since you made it this far, might as well keep reading. Plus, I bet (100 internet points) by the time you get to the end you'll realize you've already come across this topic in stories and books before. (:


Juvenile Hormone (JV) is an insect growth regulator. It regulates development and reproduction in insects. As long as there is enough JH in the body, the insect will continue to moult (shed their exoskeleton, remember from E post?) from larval to larval state. With lower levels of JH, the insect will moult from larval to pupal stage and the complete absence of JH results in the formation of the adult. But it doesn't  work that way for all insects. In honey bees JH acts differently, but I'll spare you all! 

"So what?" you say.
"Keep reading," I say.

Synthetic analogues of JH have been developed and used as an effective pest management tool against insect infestations. The high levels of JH released into the atmosphere prevents larvae from developing into adult insects. If an insect can't reach the adult stage they cannot reproduce!  AH-HA!! And because JH is target specific, it should have little effect on people and other non-insect organisms. I use the word "should" because research is still ongoing with respect to its effect on non-target organism.  

But there are drawbacks. One, JH itself is expensive to synthesize therefore costly to use in a pest management program. Second, JH needs to be released in an enclosed area with little to no draft/air currents that would subsequently blow the JH away. Thirdly, it will not eradicate a pest infestation right away. It will take time before all the pests have died out. And lastly, JH does not discriminate between pest and beneficial insects. Caution should be used when using JH as an insecticide to insure beneficials will not be impacted.

So does JH ring any bells?

Think, where have you heard/read this before....

I know you have....(:


Ok, give up?


That's right, insects in a sense have created the Fountain of Youth long before people dreamt it up! Just think what a great wip idea this could be....young scientist researching an easier way to synthsize JH when she/he accidentily creates the fountain of youth! What could go wrong? Everything!!!  Now take this and run with it! And when your book becomes an international best seller, remember to cite me in the credits unless, I beat you to it. (;

Now, cough up the 100 i points.


  1. The Fountain of Youth from an insect? If you could make it taste as nice as honey which comes from an insect then I might give it a go. Interesting piece - you are doing a great job of making me 'like' the insect world a bit better.

  2. Ooooh, that's really cool. And with insects too... There's a story in there. I can feel it, Elise.

  3. That is a great science-fiction idea. I especially like the inclusion of the fountain of youth magic the gathering card. I played that game over a decade ago...probably fifteen years ago. It took me back to the time I played it in a tournament lol.

  4. LOL. Elise, I love your humor. You're great!

    And I agree with Michael---fab science-fiction idea ;)

  5. Wait, seriously? A fountain of youth? That's...awesome. I never knew that, but then, who'd have expected that? Great post and happy A-Z blogging!

  6. Yeah, a JH that works on people in the affected area - that would make for a great story!

  7. Sally: By the time we get to Z you'll love insects!! Well, maybe not "love"....but you'll see them in a different light. (:

    Mina: Don't tempt me! (:

    Michael: I've never played MTG but from what I gather( <==see what I did there) it looks like a game I would have liked to play. Plus, the cards are pretty. :D

    Morgan: Thanks for dropping in and getting a dose of bug info. Makes me (:

    S.L. Hennessy: Thanks for stopping by! I've come to realize that people haven't thought up or done anything that insects haven't already done in some shape or form. Happy A-Z trail to you too!

    Simon: Inspiration that comes from 6 legged types is going to haunt me...I've got too many wip ideas already...but this one....hummm (:

  8. Saw this yesterday and meant to comment, but something distracted me. Here now! Although I closed the page by mistake and having to type this again. Not having a good start today...

    Anyway, Peter Pan insects is an intriguing idea. Problem is, the insects do die but just not as adults, so the humans would want to modify it a lot. So much potential to go wrong! And they would want to get the age right. Would it make human adults revert to kids? I think most people would want to be teenagers or 20-something youths, as you can't do as much "fun" stuff as a kid (or you shouldn't anyway!)

    I love how knowledgeable you are about all this. You could go on Mastermind!

    1. Aww, thanks Nick.
      You're right about the story concept. There would be a lot of parameters to address but the idea is interesting and oh so tempting. The scientist would have to play around with dosage. Too much JH, and you become a kid, to little and you become too old...or something...also would it keep you alive indefinitely, or just young looking on the outside until you die from old age on the inside...hummm *strokes chin* (:

  9. Hey Elise... you may be onto something here, a story waiting to be told... YOU should run with the idea... it has great potential...

    1. I'm so tempted. But I'd want to do some serious research to make the science plausible. Maybe a short story.....(;


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