Math & Science Department (SURI)

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Insecticides are widely used in agriculture. While there are several classes of synthetic insecticides that are highly effective against insects, there is data suggesting that these compounds are also toxic to non-target species. However, compounds like caffeine have been shown to act as natural insecticides. Here we investigate the effects of a wellknown class of insecticides, pyrethroids, as well as natural compounds such as caffeine. Since insecticides work at the level of the nervous system we propose to measure neural activity in crickets (Acheta Domestica) after exposure to synthetic and naturally occurring insecticides. Here we show our approach and preliminary experiments which demonstrate successful neuron recordings from the cricket.

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