In the News: Potent Plants Neutralize Pugnacious Pests

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Potent Plants Neutralize Pugnacious Pests

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Much has been made of human-directed genetic engineering in recent years, but what did the Creator originally program into plant and animal life to provide for survival? Consider these examples: Though a culinary delicacy to human beings, fiddleheads from bracken ferns unleash a ferocious fusillade against insect invaders. The bracken tissue is filled with ecdysones, a hormone that causes insects to go into molting overdrive and shed their exoskeletons, thereby killing them. Just to be sure, the bracken also releases an enzyme that produces hydrogen cyanide, highly toxic to the mandibles munching at its tissue. Corn plants use another tactic—they call in reinforcements when caterpillars try to feed. When the enemy begins to eat, the corn plant releases a chemical that attracts a predator, parasitic wasps, which in turn paralyze the caterpillar and deposit eggs inside. When the little wasps hatch, they have an instant meal. The ant, of Proverbs 6:6 Proverbs 6:6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
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fame, is also called on to protect its host plant. Jungle ants will swarm to the spot where a scientist has cut a sample from a tree and try to attack the invader. Amazonian ants are so protective of their specific tree home that they will kill other specimens nearby over thousands of square feet in order to give their tree the best shot at nutrients. The plants in turn grow nodules of nutrients for the ants (Sharon Begley, "Don't Be Fooled, Those Nice Plants Are Packing Heat," The Wall Street Journal, May 26). God's creation has a phenomenal array of intricate mechanisms that protect and keep it in balance. King David said that the human body was "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalms 139:14 Psalms 139:14I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
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). Likewise with all the elements of God's creative design.