/ Modified sep 3, 2013 8:20 p.m.

AZ Illustrated Science: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In-depth look at bug brains, sense of smell; GMOs' pros, cons; beetles in Sky Island region; backstage at the desert museum.

Watch video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Science on Tuesday, Sept. 3:

BUG BRAINS & SENSE OF SMELL: For more than three decades, neuroscientist John Hildebrand has worked with some of the world's smallest brains: the brains of insects. Hildebrand, a UA regents professor, studies these creatures' brains to explore their sense of smell and insect behavior.

GMOs: Genetically modified organisms have been used in the U.S. since 1996. Bruce Tabashnik, head of the UA's Department of Entomology, said a combination of technology and GMOs provides the safest, and most productive way of protecting crops. However, there are some pest-causing bugs that are resilient and adaptable to GMOs in certain types of crops.

SKY ISLAND REGION: Southern Arizona is also known as the Sky Island region, one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America. The region is a hotbed for arthropods, such as beetles, scorpions and tarantulas. Wendy Moore, assistant professor and curator at the UA's Department of Entomology, focuses on studying beetles of the Sky Island areas.

DESERT MUSEUM: Behind the scenes at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

AZ Illustrated Science is produced by Georgia Davis. Contact her at gdavis@azpm.org.

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