New Materials from Larvae – level 2

26-03-2021 07:00

The first insect farm in Singapore breeds Black Soldier flies to make new materials from their larvae. A larva is a young insect without wings and legs which later changes into an adult.

In the past, companies made pet food and fertilizers from larvae, and now, it is possible to make new materials. People use these materials in medicine and in electronics, too. The larvae can change food waste into a special material, and scientists can make chitosan from it. Chitosan can reduce pain and people can use it in cosmetics and medicine.

Another material is melanin, which conducts electricity. People can use it in batteries and other things.

One of the farm’s founders said that they used technologies which did not harm the natural world. One reason is people usually got melanin from a squid, but it was a very difficult technology which needed a lot of chemicals. Melanin from larvae is easier and needs less chemicals.

Difficult words: fertilizer (a chemical or natural substance which farmers put into soil to grow more plants), conduct (to make it possible for something to go through), squid (a sea animal with a long body and arms around its mouth).

You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.

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