Tag Archives: Mosquitoes

Wolbachia and Cytoplasmic Incompatibility

Wikimedia Commons / Scott O'Neill

Wolbachia are a common bacterial parasite of the phylum Arthropoda (which includes classes like Insecta, Arachnida, and the subphylum Crustacea– shellfish). The parasite was discovered in 1924, but gathered the attention of researchers in the early 1970s, when Yen and Barr discovered that if a male Culex pipiens mosquito infected with Wolbachia fertilized the eggs […]

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Holobionts and the Hologenome Theory


The term superorganism was coined in 1928 by the American ant expert William Morton Wheeler to describe a colony of eusocial insects such as ants and bees. The prefix “super” indicates a higher level of organization among multiple individuals of the same species where individual members perform specific duties – analogous to the different tissues […]

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Plasmodium Life Cycle

As a protist, the plasmodium is a eukaryote of the phylum Apicomplexa. Unusual characteristics of this organism in comparison to general eukaryotes include the rhoptry, micronemes, and polar rings near the apical end. The plasmodium is known best for the infection it causes, malaria. Source: Wikimedia

Plasmodium is a genus of the Apicomplexan parasite, which was described in 1885 by Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli and is known to cause malaria.  There are 200 known species of Plasmodium, of which at least 11 species infect humans, while others infect other animals including reptiles, birds, rodents, and monkeys.  The Plasmodium parasite has […]

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Insectary Under Construction


Our insectary is expanding! The new insectary increases our available workspace and will allow us to expand our mosquito-rearing program and take on new projects. Inside the insectary, we raise species from both the Aedes and Anopheles mosquito genera, and use these mosquitoes in a variety of ways ranging from understanding how they reproduce and […]

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Did you know that the itching and raised red spot caused by a mosquito bite are actually an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva? Mosquitoes are well known for their itchy bites, nearly pervasive presence, and the constant hum of their buzzing wings; yet many people are unaware that mosquitoes are vectors, or carriers, of […]

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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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Kludge Engineering

We completed a quick proof of concept: The photonic fence project has been using an expensive lens and large area photodiode in order to detect wing beat frequency. We knew on paper that this could be replaced cheaply, however, it seemed worth while to do some quick validation. I ordered some $3 fresnel lenses from […]

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Egg Bleaching

Yuck, my brood of dipteran eggs is filthy. If I don’t do something fast, my unborn larvae may never live to see their third instar. Fortunately Emma’s here to save the day! She gives a how-to on cleaning mosquito eggs in order to improve their life expectancy in the insectary. This was actually a deleted […]

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The TED Talk

For those of us who were unable to attend the TED conference back in February (my couch cushions just couldn’t quite turn up the $6,000 price of admission), we are in luck! Today, Nathan Myhrvold’s talk was released for the world to see. Check out our founder highlighting several of our malaria projects, along with […]

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Counting Mosquitoes Before They’re Hatched

Aahhhh, those mosquitoes must have laid a quablillion eggs in Sparky’s water dish on the back porch. Um…are you sure that you counted correctly? What we really need is a systematic, and preferably automated, method of counting those minute, black specks, otherwise known as mosquito eggs. In the work being done over in the insectary, […]

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