A new flightless strain of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has been created by Oxitec scientists, a breakthrough that could help stop the spread of this dangerous and invasive pest.
Aedes albopictus is a serious nuisance biter, but is also capable of transmitting dengue fever, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus and a host of other diseases. In the last few decades it has spread throughout the world where it has gone from bothersome pest to increasing health concern.
The Asian tiger mosquito is difficult to control using conventional methods rely; chemical pesticides harm other insects and become increasingly ineffective as mosquitoes develop resistance.
Around 100,000 years ago, human evolution was in a rut, modern human ancestors consisted of 5-10,000 individuals living in Africa.
Yet modern humans somehow emerged from this population bottleneck, expanding dramatically in both number and range, and replacing all other co-existing evolutionary cousins, like Neanderthals. What caused this bottleneck in the first place? Answers range from gene mutations to cultural developments like language to climate-altering events, like a massive volcanic eruption.
Maybe there is another possible factor: infectious disease.
"Chagas Disease: “The New HIV/AIDS of the Americas”" screams the headline of an editorial in the open access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, written primarily by two principal investigators of a vaccine against Chagas disease - and it has resounded with a thud among the actual people they think they are helping.
Garra rufa - "doctor fish' - are now trendy in some fish pedicure places. The pedicuree dips their feet (see? I don't specify a gender or make any judgments, I am not Manny Pacquiao) into water containing the fish and the little critters exfoliate you by basically eating the dead skin from your toes.
Poor people in developing nations have been caught in a cultural tug-of-war over how to best keep them from dying of Malaria. What they need to break the impasse between anti-science acolytes who think "Silent Spring" had any science in it and corporate chemical manufacturers is...a fashion show.
Frederick Ochanda, postdoctoral associate in Cornell's Department of Fiber Science&Apparel Design and a native of Kenya, teamed up with Matilda Ceesay, a Cornell apparel design undergraduate from Gambia, to create a hooded bodysuit embedded at the molecular level with insecticides for warding off mosquitoes infected with malaria, a disease estimated to kill 655,000 people annually on the continent.
Integrated circuit techniques can do just about anything - perhaps even help cure sepsis.
Margination is natural phenomenon where bacteria and leukocytes (white blood cells) move toward the sides of blood vessels. Now it's the inspiration for a novel method of treating sepsis, a systemic and often dangerous inflammatory response to microbial infection in the blood.
Researchers have discovered the probable cause of several infectious agents at the same time. Paramyxoviruses originate from bats and from there the pathogens have spread to humans and other mammals. In total, the new study tested 9,278 animals for viruses, among them 86 species of bats and 33 rodent species, leading to the discovery of an enormous number of new virus species. This could make eradicating many dangerous diseases significantly more difficult than had been thought. For bats provide a reservoir from which viruses could come back after vaccination campaigns.
A protein found on the surface of immune cells called dendritic cells recognizes dangerous damage and trauma that could signify infection. Dendritic cells are critical for raising the alarm about the presence of foreign invaders in the body such as viruses, bacteria and parasites as well as tumor cells and other dead or damaged cells. Also known as antigen-presenting cells, they digest and present molecules from damaged cells to other immune cells that recognize foreign invaders and launch an immune response.
I drank raw milk as a kid. If you were poor and living in the country decades ago, when dairy farmers still had some measure of autonomy from government rules, you probably did too.
It didn't hurt me. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to drink it; now, instead of poor people in the country who didn't want to pay a lot for milk in a store because it was price controlled by the government, raw milk is a fad for the wealthy anti-vaccine crowd.