Victor D. Chase

Waiter There’s a Dye in My Soup

First they turn red, then they die. The cause of death is neither envy, rage, nor jealousy. Rather it is a common drug and cosmetic dye, known by its FDA name, D&C Red 28, 27 (water and oil soluble, respectively). The victim of this substance is the fruit fly, long the bane of farmers throughout the world and almost equally the bane of many citizens in areas where the traditional response to infestations of the flies is large scale spraying of malathion, a controversial pesticide.

The sight of fruit flies sends shivers down the spines of farmers who stand to lose millions of dollars whenever they appear. As a group, fruit flies are true to their name in that they primarily attack tree fruit, including plums, peaches, citrus fruits, apples, pears, and cherries. The Mediterranean fruit fly has also been implicated as a pest in grapes, tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers, among others.

Under international agreement, anytime fruit flies, including both the Mexican and Mediterranean flies, are found in an area the produce from that region is quarantined from export to uninfested areas. To get rid of this blight, a costly protocol must be followed. First, malathion, a member of the organophosphate family of pesticides, is sprayed. This must frequently be done in populated residential areas. After the spraying, flies sterilized by radiation are released to further control the population.

Selected Works

Shattered Nerves: How Science Is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem
My book is as much about the people involved in this dynamic new field as it is about the science. In it I tell the stories of the researchers and of the patients on whom this technology is being tested, some of whom have become an intrinsic part of the teams creating these devices.
Computer Articles
Modeling An Earth-Shaking Event
“Earthquakes don’t kill people,” seismologist Arthur Rodgers says. “Buildings do.”
A Chilling Tale Of Nuclear Weaponry
Freezing and maintaining the reliability of the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile would appear to be diametrically opposed concepts. Think of one and the notion of shivering in the cold comes to mind. The other conjures images of an inferno....DEIXIS 2004-2005 (a DOE publication)
Made to Order: IBM Makes Sense Out of Unstructured Data
Researchers are developing systems to bring a rapidly growing and seemingly uncontrollable mass of information, into an orderly, usable state of being. IBM’s Think Research, 2002
Detecting Defects
When something you’ve purchased is defective, you usually send it back for a replacement, or throw it out and buy a new one. If you happen to be in the explosives business, however, the opposite holds true...DEIXIS 2004-2005 (a DOE publication)
Housing Lasers
Developing laser fusion may be the ultimate solution to the energy problem, and computational science is helping us get there. Deixis, 2002-2003 (published for the DOE).
Environmental Articles
Model Mixes Ice, Heat, Water And Salt To View The Ocean's Future
Within the next several decades, ice over the Arctic will completely disappear during the summer. That’s just one of the clear and dramatic predictions to come from models developed by the Climate Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM) program at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Waiter There’s a Dye in My Soup
Food dye may prove to be the ultimate safe pesticide. Environmental Health Perspectives (a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), Volume 104, Number 2, February 1996.