The other butterfly effect: A youth reporter finds out how monarchs fight their own parasites

TED Blog

Biologist Jaap de Roode studies the Monarch butterfly's ability to use medicinal plants. Photo: Courtesy of Jaap de Roode Biologist Jaap de Roode studies the Monarch butterfly’s ability to use medicinal plants.

Jaap de Roode is a biologist who studies parasites and their hosts — particularly Monarch butterflies. At TEDYouth 2014, he spoke about Monarch butterflies, their self-medicating ingenuity — and what that ingenuity can help humans discover.

Lubna Batool, an 11th-grade New Yorker, was fascinated. On site at TEDYouth, with a dozen monarch butterflies flapping about in a see-through mesh cylinder, Batool got to ask de Roode a few questions. One fun fact she learned: Monarch butterflies can live in a food cooler for months, as long as they’re fed every 10 days and have an ice pack changed daily. Below, an edited transcript of their conversation.

[As Batool picks up a butterfly] How do I hold it?

Monarchs are one of the strongest butterflies we have — they fly from Canada down to Mexico, which is…

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Netflix exec: we want to be everywhere in the world in five years

Gigaom

Netflix wants to be present all around the world before 2020, said the company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos during an investor event Monday. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Sarandos said: “Within five years, we’d love to see the product be completely global, available everywhere in the world.”

[company]Netflix[/company] stepped up its international expansion this year by entering six new markets in Europe, including France and Germany. The company also announced earlier this month that it wants to launch in Australia and New Zealand next April. That launch will bring the number of countries that Netflix is available in to over 50.

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Netflix still has a lot more subscribers in the U.S. than in its international markets, but the company is now growing twice as fast abroad. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said in the past that the company may eventually generate up to 80…

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Off Grid Electric Raises $16M To Let Africans Pre-Pay For Solar Energy Just Like Phones

TechCrunch

How do you pay for solar energy if you don’t have a credit card or bank account? Thanks to Off Grid Electric, people in the developing world can pay as they go for installed solar power systems electricity the same way they top-up their phone minutes.

Now, thanks to $16 million in new funding from American solar finance and installation giant SolarCity, Off Grid Electric is pushing to grow from 25,000 customers to 100,000. “Pre-paid mobile is what really unlocked the mobile phone market in Africa, Off Grid CEO and co-founder Xavier Helgesen tells me. “Now it’s the beginning of the era of pre-paid solar.

By replacing families’ inefficient, dangerous kerosene lamps with solar systems that can run modern lights, Off Grid is bringing the electrical revolution to countries still in the dark.

Charging Phones, Changing Lives

While most people think of light as the most essential use of technology, Off Grid…

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TC Droidcast Episode 29: Lollipop’s Adoption Lag, Google Glass’s Second Act

TechCrunch

This week, Darrell Etherington, Greg Kumparak and Kyle Russell opine about Android 5.0’s low early adoption rate, and whether Google can ever solve that particular problem. Google Glass and its Intel-powered future are also on the agenda, as well as the Puzzlephone, how modular phones might scare away buyers on the casual end of the spectrum, and what modularity really means for consumer choice.

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Next week, we’ll have deeper impressions of some devices we’re currently testing, including the LG G Watch R. We’ll also break down some of the best software to pick up heading into the holiday, based on our preparation for year-end best lists.

Subscribe on iTunes and check out past episodes directly on TechCrunch.

Download it directly here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/droidcast/droidcast-29.mp3

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