More signs of global warming: rising temperatures in North America have increased numbers of budworm caterpillars - which are munching their way through Alaska's dying forests (pictured). The larvae burrow into the buds of sitka spruce and tie the buds shut with silk. The larvae feed on the buds through the spring, and at the right time they emerge as caterpillars to eat the needles of the tree, which either hampers its growth or kills it. And the spruce bark beetle has killed 1.3 million hectares of sitka/white spruce hybrids, where it lays its eggs and attracts more beetles. Several researchers believe recent plagues of both creatures are due to the warming trend which has allowed the beetle to cut its life cycle from two years to one and has weakened trees, making them vulnerable to attack. Doctor danger Seeing a doctor may be bad for you in two ways: it raises your blood pressure and so could lead to prescriptions for drugs you do not need. Claude le Pailleur and colleagues at the Necker Hospital in Paris found blood pressure rose by an average of about 15 per cent when people talked to their doctor compared with silence or reading a book. The effect could be enough for doctors to prescribe drugs patients do not need. 'Undoubtedly, there are many people who are getting drugs for hypertension when they don't need them,' he told New Scientist. Bond myth Parental divorce, disease and accidents are far more important in shaping a child's well-being in adulthood than any early bonding with its mother, said New Jersey university professor Dr Michael Lewis.Lewis based his conclusion on a study of He examined 84 children at age one, for maternal attachment, and again at age 18 in terms of adult attachment to family and friends. Secure attachment in infancy did not protect children from being maladjusted at age 18, he said, nor did insecure attachment in infancy predict trouble later. Test kit Malaria-carrying mosquito species can now be swiftly identified with a DNA test kit developed by researchers in Australia. It will be part of a mobile laboratory that can identify offending mosquitoes on the spot, to help eradicate more quickly and cheaply the strains which kill up to 2.7 million malaria sufferers each year.DNA probes are a more reliable way of identifying species but until now samples have had to be taken to laboratories hundreds of kilometres from an outbreak site. Nigel Beebe of the University of Technology, Sydney, and the Australian Army Malaria Institute have developed probes for each of the 10 malaria-carrying species of mosquito in an exercise called Operation Anopheles, which aims to map the distribution of malaria in the southwestern Pacific. The kit produces results in five to six hours.