Make conclusions about you observations and give a scientific explanation as to why the termites respond as they do.
Scientific Method Format
Variables to be tested:
Chart your data by making a table with these headings: (response) +, (no response) 0 , (avoidance) - Include the type of writing instument as a heading.
Arthur French worked in Uganda (1955-1969) on the subject of fungiand termites. There was some scientific literature, in French, byBelgians, but it dealt inadequately with the relationship betweenmushrooms and termites, and the best edible varieties were “termitemushrooms”. He did some work on them, with the help of the elderlyBaganda women who gathered them, and published the results. For a yearor two he was a world expert on termite mushrooms.
Sceptics regard this as unlikely to become a carbon-neutralcommercial process due to the energy inputs required to maintain thesystem. For decades, researchers have sought to house termites on acommercial scale (like )to break down woody debris and paper, but funding has been scarce andthe problems of developing a continuous process that does not disruptthe termites' have not been overcome.
Many plants have developed effective defences against termites, and in most ,there is an observable balance between the growth of plants and thefeeding of termites. Defence is typically achieved by secretinganti-feedant chemicals (such as , , and ) into the woody cell walls. This reduces the ability of termites to efficiently digest the . Many of the strongly termite-resistant tree species have timber that is extremely dense (such as )due to accretion of these resins. Over the years there has beenconsiderable research into these natural defensive chemicals withscientists seeking to add them to timbers from susceptible trees. Acommercial product, "Blockaid", has been developed in Australia anduses a range of plant extracts to create a paint-on nontoxic termitebarrier for buildings. In 2005, a group of Australian scientists"discovered" (announced) a treatment based on an extract of a speciesof that repels termites.Tests have shown that termites are strongly repelled by the toxicmaterial to the extent that they will starve rather than cross treatedsamples. When kept in close proximity to the extract, they becomedisoriented and eventually die. Scientists hope to use this toxiccompound commercially to prevent termite feeding.
Termites may produce up to two litres of from digesting a single sheet of paper, making them one of the planet's most efficient .Termites achieve this high degree of efficiency by exploiting themetabolic capabilities of about 200 different species of microbes thatinhabit their hindguts. The microbial community in the termite gutefficiently manufactures large quantities of hydrogen; the complex within wood are broken down into simple sugars by fermenting bacteriain the termite's gut, using enzymes that produce hydrogen as abyproduct. A second wave of bacteria uses the simple sugars andhydrogen to make the acetate the termite requires for energy. Bysequencing the termite's ,the DOE hopes to get a better understanding of these biochemicalpathways. If it can be determined which enzymes are used to createhydrogen, and which genes produce them, this process could potentiallybe scaled up with bioreactors to generate hydrogen from woody biomass,such as , in commercial quantities.
It has long been accepted that termites are closely related to and , and they are classified in the same superorder (), but new research has shed light on the details of termite evolution.There is now strong evidence suggesting that termites are really highlymodified, social, wood-eating cockroaches. A study conducted byscientists has found that bacteria from termites and a genus of cockroaches, , share the strongest phylogenetical similarities out of all other cockroaches. Both termites and also share similar morphological and social features -- most cockroaches do not show social characteristics, but takes care of its young and exhibits other social behaviour. As mentioned above, the primitive () exhibits numerous cockroach-like characteristics that are not shared with other termites.
It turns out that the ink in the Papermate ballpoint has a substance that resembles pheromones that the termites recognize. Use a blue Papermate pen and another blue pen to which the termite will not respond.