When North Africa
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
Books et al.: “Artemisia, malaria, and the Red Queen,” by W. Lawley et al. (11 October, p. 195). In the book’s title,
“Contol” should be “Control.” The HTML and PDF versions online have been corrected.
News & Analysis: “India aims a probe at Mars—and at earthly prestige” by P. Bagla (20 September, p. 1328).
The article incorrectly states that comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) is expected to collide with Mars in late
2014. Calculations earlier this year determined that the comet is likely to only make a close approach to the planet,
with a negligible probability of colliding with the surface.
News Focus: “A floating lab explores the fringes of science and gastronomy” by K. Kupferschmidt (17 May, p. 809).
Kevin Krajick was mistakenly listed as the author in the HTML version online. The author name has been corrected
on the article page and the corresponding Table of Contents page.
tomer, they can also be applied to promote
the social good, as practitioners in the field
of social marketing have done for decades in
areas such as public health (1).
It is time that those working to mitigate
threats to the environment recognize that
marketing principles have much to offer by
providing a tried and tested framework that
can be used to influence human behavior, a
key driver of threats to biodiversity worldwide (2). For this to happen, marketing
needs to be acknowledged as an amoral set
of tools that can be used for a variety of ends,
depending on who applies them. It is true
that marketing has been traditionally used
by businesses, and often to promote behaviors that are environmentally unsustainable.
This is exactly why we need to engage with
these effective principles and level the playing field. After all, why should the devil have
all the best tunes (3)?
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of
Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ, UK. E-mail: email@example.com
1. J. French, C. Blair-Stevens, D. McVey, R. Merritt, Social
Marketing and Public Health: Theory and Practice
(Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 2009).
2. D. Veríssimo, Conserv. Evidence 10, 29 (2013).
3. G. Hastings, Social Marketing: Why Should the Devil
Have All the Best Tunes? (Elsevier, Oxford, 2007).
THE SPECIAL SECTION ON SMARTER PEST
Control (16 August, p. 728) highlighted
the threats that chemical pesticides pose
to human health and the environment, and
some of the smart alternatives, including
genetically modified (GM) crops. However,
an important and emerging technology
against insect pests was overlooked: biological pesticides.
Biopesticides are “derived from such
natural materials as animals, plants, and
bacteria” (1). They include microbial pesticides produced from fungi, protozoa, nematodes, baculoviruses, and bacteria (such
as the widely used Bacillus thuringiensis,
known as Bt). In the United States, there
are about 400 registered biopesticide active
ingredients and over 1250 products; there
are many fewer in Europe (2). There has
been substantial growth in biopesticides in
Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. 3Natural Resources Institute,
University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4
*Corresponding author: E-mail: ken.wilson@lancaster.
1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticides:
Regulating Pesticides ( www.epa.gov/pesticides/
2. D. Chandler et al., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B
366, 1987 (2011).
3. T. Glare et al., Trends Biotechnol. 30, 250 (2012).
4. R. Ehlers, Regulation of Biological Control Agents
(Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 2011).
Pest Control: Risks of
IN THE SPECIAL SECTION ON SMARTER PEST
Control (16 August, p. 728), scientists propose smarter and safer pesticides. One
increasingly popular solution that the
section did not discuss is biochemical
pesticides. Because of their unique mechanism of action, biochemical pesticides have
minimal mammalian toxicity (1). However,
these pesticides may put other facets of
the environment at risk. For example, strobilurin fungicides have become the most
widely used biochemical fungicides around
the world. Yet, almost all strobilurin fungicides are highly toxic to fish and other
aquatic organisms (2) and can contaminate
surface and ground water (3). Statements on
the product’s labels that warn users to take
precautions around water do not adequately
address these concerns. As we search for
pesticide alternatives, we must bear in mind
that abuse or overuse of biochemical pesticides could be incredibly dangerous to our
GEFEI HAO AND GUANGFU YANG*
Key Laboratory of Pesticide and Chemical Biology, Ministry
of Education, College of Chemistry, Central China Normal
University, Wuhan, 430079, China.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. K. M. Meepagala, W. Osbrink, C. Burandt, A. Lax, S. O.
Duke, Pest Manag. Sci. 67, 1446 (2011).
2. E. T. Rodrigues, I. Lopes, M. A. Pardal, Environ. Int. 53,
3. T. J. Reilly, K. L. Smalling, J. L. Orlando, K. M. Kuivila,
Chemosphere 89, 228 (2012).
recent years, especially in Asia, but they still
comprise less than 4% of the global pesti-
cides market (3).
Market growth is undermined by the
variable efficacy of some biopesticides,
smaller market niches, and policy/regula-tory barriers (2, 4). However, the potential
for biopesticides is substantial, and many
constraints can be overcome if, like other
crop protection technologies, biopesticides
also become smarter through research and
innovation. Rather than treating biopesticides as synthetic chemicals, there is scope
to develop and adopt novel production and
delivery approaches that exploit their positive biological attributes (such as higher
target specificity, capacity for secondary
cycling, sublethal effects, genetic diversity, and transgenerational transmission)
and minimize their negative ones (such as
slower speed of kill and greater environmental sensitivity).
GM technologies do have the potential to radically reduce pest damage, but
their global-scale acceptability and adoption remain a long way off. In the meantime, biopesticides in general, and microbial
pesticides in particular, offer the potential
to reduce the chemical burden on the landscape while minimizing the evolution of
resistance. In addition to delivering a more
environment-friendly alternative to synthetic chemicals that is compatible with
organic farming and integrated pest management programs, biopesticides may provide cheaper solutions for crop protection
globally if policy and regulatory barriers can
be minimized and harmonized (4).
KENNETH WILSON,1 TIMOTHY G. BENTON,2
ROBERT I. GRAHAM,1 DAVID GRZYWACZ3
1Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University,
Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, UK. 2School of Biology, University of