Tag Archives: Barcin Acar

Meet the New Olfactometer


Some mosquitoes are unfortunately highly anthropophilic, meaning they seek out humans for their blood meals rather than other animals. But how do these insects find us in the first place? How do they distinguish between a human and a shrub? There is evidence that odor may have something to do with it.

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Dark Field Microscopy

To learn about how dark field microscopy differs from bright field microscopy and to see some images of mosquitoes taken in dark field mode, click for more…

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Self-Sterilizing Surfaces

Every year in the U.S., there are 1.7 million in-hospital infections, resulting in 99,000 deaths. That’s more U.S. casualties than the Vietnam War (58,209) and the Korean War (36,574) combined, and exceeds annual U.S. deaths caused by both breast cancer (40,230) and prostate cancer (32,050). Even though hospitals go out of their way to keep […]

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Celebrating International Clean Hands Week (Sept 19-25)

A hand washing survey supported by the American Society for Microbiology was conducted in 2007 observing adult hand washing behavior in public restrooms at six locations in four major US cities. More than 6000 adults were observed in the study. The percentage of males observed washing their hands was 66%, while the percentage of females […]

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We’ve been seeing more and more visitors from the media around here. The most recent journalist to peruse the lab was Newsweek’s Dan Lyons, who was looking for the lowdown on our malaria work. Although the Photonic Fence, a.k.a. the mosquito laser system, has gotten most of the press lately due to Nathan Myhrvold’s TED […]

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The Mosquito Insectary

If you have followed us for long, you’ve probably heard of our facility’s supercomputer and laser systems. However, the first thing I like to reveal when telling people about the lab is the mosquito insectary. Not only is it slightly bizarre having colonies of pests nurtured and bred mere feet away from where I work […]

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Getting Ready for TED

You can image that preparing a TED talk is no small task. However, a demonstration as ambitious and technical as shooting mosquitoes with lasers proved to be quite a feat. Between enhancing and cleaning up the software, assembling and mounting all the components, and just making sure everything looked nice and polished, we had a […]

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Giemsa Staining of Malaria-Infected Rodent Blood

The Giemsa stain, named after malariaologist Gustav Giemsa, binds to phosphate-group sites on DNA. The malaria parasite has DNA, so when stained with Giemsa stain, it shows up blue under a microscope. That’s not useful for finding malaria in an organism, one might think: in any biopsy or sample you take from an organism you […]

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