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Zombie Insects And Spider Web Science!

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Many of us regard bugs and insects simply as pests -- to be rid of. Our guests today know that, and hope to change the hearts and minds of the insect-averse. Spider glue researcher Sarah Stellwagen waxes poetic about the mysteries and science of spider webs. And entomologist Mike Raupp, also known as ‘The Bug Guy,’ is on a mission to help people understand our connection to the creepy crawly critters, starting with the fascinating life cycle of what he claims as his ‘spirit bug’ -- the stupendous cicada. We preview their upcoming talks at the Natural History Society of Maryland.

Links: Playing Mind Games: How Microbes Make Zombies of Their Insect Hosts, The Science of Spider Webs: Silk Biology From DNAto Fiber, Bug of the Week.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'