Monthly Archives: March 2014

Can cows protect against mosquito bites?


The use of livestock as bait to attract mosquitoes away from biting humans, and thus reduce malaria transmission, is an attractive proposition that has been mooted for many years. Animals would act as a dead-end host, as species of malaria that infect humans will not develop in them. This is a control strategy known as… Read more »


The interplay between different sensory modalities defines mosquito’s host-seeking behavior

Aedes aegypti

This is a guest blog article by Dr. Julien Pelletier, School of Life Sciences, Keele University Mosquitoes rely heavily on their sense of smell as it provides a highly efficient link between volatile odors (ligands) from the environment and critical behaviors such as host-seeking. Molecular mechanisms of olfaction take place in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs)… Read more »


Bumblebees in danger


Emerging infectious diseases in honey bees have  now been shown to spillover into bumblebee populations  and may contribute to the worrying global decline in bumblebee colonies. In the UK alone, seven of the 25 native species of bumblebees are at risk and two of them are now extinct. A great many of our crops, wild flowers… Read more »


Chile uses feathered friends to combat Hantavirus


The Chilean forest service, CONAF, are hoping to expand populations of Chilean white owls and Magellanic horned owls in the Valparaíso region in an effort to increase predation on rodents and consequently reduce the risk of Hantavirus infection to people. Hantaviruses are single stranded RNA viruses in the family Bunyaviridae. They cause long-term, asymptomatic, infections… Read more »