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Posts Tagged "mosquito"

Extinction Countdown

How to save Hawaii’s endangered birds? Get rid of the mosquitoes

mosquito

Darn those mosquitoes. First we learn this week that they have adapted to feed on reptile blood on the Galápagos Islands, putting several rare species there at risk. Now we hear that they are also threatening Hawaii’s endangered birds, and may soon be pushing several species closer to extinction. (Not to mention the usual things [...]

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Guest Blog

Annals of the Malaria War: Legions of Health Workers Launch an Attack

When I stepped into the schoolhouse, I instinctively tucked my camera back inside its case. Health workers had taken over its one room for the day, and a ritualistic exchange of greetings gave way to tense silence. The health workers were upset. They refused to hand out malaria medicines as dozens of children and mothers [...]

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Image of the Week

The Emerging Mosquito

Wild-mosquito

Image Credit: © Alex Wild Source: Recipe For A Photograph #4: The Emerging Mosquito, on Compound Eye As the weather warms and spring marches into summer, mosquito pupae are shedding their skins and emerging from stagnant pools to search for warm mammalian blood. The thought of swarms of pesky mosquitoes and the itchy red welts [...]

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Observations

Mosquito Guts Implanted with GMO Malaria Assassins

Anopheles stephensi mosquito

Mosquitoes don’t cause malaria—the disease comes courtesy of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Yet mosquitoes do a fine job of spreading Plasmodium to about half a billion people every year. The parasite depends on mosquitoes for more than just transport, however. Plasmodium goes through much of its complex life cycle inside the mosquito, passing through the [...]

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Observations

Malaria Deaths Falling Slowly, WHO Report Says

In the long fight against malaria, progress finally seems to be coming, if incrementally. The number of people who died from malaria in 2010 fell 5 percent from the previous year and has dropped 26 percent from 2000 levels, according to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report. The decline might seem modest given the [...]

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Observations

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes might be splitting into new species

malaria mosquito two types that might become different species

By any other name, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito would still bear—with its tiny buzzing wing beats—the deadly threat of malaria, which can be passed to humans in a single blood-sucking bite. But what if this species were to split in twain? Two new studies, published online October 21 in Science, have found evidence that A. [...]

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Observations

The scent of death? Newly discovered natural chemicals make mosquitoes bug out

A lot of communication in the animal world occurs via volatile, information-carrying "scent" chemicals, many of which remain to be chemically identified. Generally speaking, pheromones are a type of infochemical used within a species to influence social behaviors and attract mates whereas kairomones send signals between different species and are often used to detect predators [...]

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Observations

Thousands of new drug leads identified in the fight against malaria

malaria drug candidate compounds

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is behind a majority of those deaths. Although newer drug combinations (of artemisinins) proved effective after resistance to widely used treatments appeared, hints of resistance to this newer therapy are also beginning to emerge, creating a darkening cloud over a [...]

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Plugged In

Summer of the Mosquito

I remember last summer as the summer of the mosquito. I wasn’t prepared. Those buzzing, itching, carbon dioxide-seeking missiles chased my family out of the backyard. The long anticipated lazy days laying in the backyard turned into short backdoor jaunts of necessity. No one wanted to take the chance. Mosquitoes were everywhere. So were warnings [...]

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