Monthly Archives: April 2014

Mammalian meat allergy caused by tick bites


People are suffering severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to meat products as tick bites cause the human body to mount an immune response against the mammalian carbohydrate “alpha-gal”. This unusual condition has so far been identified in Australia and in the United States, however, the numbers of those affected is substantial and appears to be… Read more »


Congratulations to Research Award winner Guido Favia


The BioMed Central Research awards – presented annually – recognises the outstanding research published in all its journals. Awards are presented to the best research in ten subject categories. I am delighted to announce that Guido Favia and his colleagues are the winners of the ‘Microbiology, Immunology, Infection and Inflammation’ category award for their recent… Read more »


Butterflies behaving like cuckoos

Maculinea alcon_13479W

The beautiful and rare Alcon Blue butterfly, Maculina alcon, has a surprising life cycle; for about nine months of the year it behaves like a cuckoo. It belongs to a large family of butterflies, the Lycaenidae, many of whom have a special relationship with ants.  Its lays its eggs on the flower buds of the… Read more »


Throwing the switch: gametocytogenesis in malaria parasites

P. falciparum gametocytes

This is a guest blog article by Paul Horrocks and Catherine Merrick, Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology, Keele University. Plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria, has a famously complicated lifecycle.  To be transmitted from human to human, it must cease asexual replication in the erythrocytes of the human host and commit to formation of… Read more »