Shutdown Winners: Invasive Bugs
Losers: Antarctic penguins, as US scientists suspend research
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2013 3:21 PM CDT
This brown marmorated stink bug doesn't want to raise the debt ceiling.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – It isn't just skateboarders benefiting unexpectedly from the government shutdown: the brown marmorated stink bug and the emerald ash borer beetle are also potential winners, reports LiveScience. The former causes millions of dollars of crop damage every year, while the latter destroys US ash trees. But scientists studying both species have had to suspend their tests while Congress sorts itself out. "Because of the shutdown, my colleagues and I are prevented from studying a possible management tool that could greatly benefit American forests," says a researcher studying (or perhaps more accurately, not studying) emerald ash borers.

US scientists in Antarctica also have had to suspend their research, reports the AP. The National Science Foundation announced yesterday that "all field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended," as it will run out of money next week. Some research projects may be able to resume if funding is reinstated soon, but others may be ruined. One penguin study, which has been running since 1990, will be useless if the research is broken. "If we miss a year, we'll never get it back again," says the study coordinator. "It's pretty devastating for our project."

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Oct 10, 2013 10:15 AM CDT
Now I have heard it all (well, at least until tomorrow): the Republicans are staging a revolution (apparently reporters haven't spent time in Egypt to see what a real revolution is like) and its the shutdown's fault we are plagued with stink bugs (even though they entered the country years ago due to poor shipping practices). So tell me - why can't these scientists just apply to something like the Bill Gates Foundation for funding so we can stop paying them out of our tax dollars?
Oct 10, 2013 9:37 AM CDT
A 23-year-old penguin study? Make some conclusions already!
Oct 10, 2013 1:54 AM CDT
The winners of the shutdown are the gov't workers. They are going to get their full back pay when they return to work AND they get to collect unemployment in the mean time. Just another way the gov't fucks over the tax payer.