A new report out Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights a scary reality: Diseases spread by six- and eight-legged bugs are becoming more common. And worse than that, health officials across the country seem woefully incapable of dealing with them.
Animals fatally maul, sting, trample, and chew about a million humans per year. Pretty nice of them, given the numbers on our side—the average of 750 million chickens we kill in the U.S. every month, for instance. In an ideal world, no one would ever get mauled by a bear, or contract rabies from a feral squirrel. But…
It wasn’t too long ago that the emergence of the little-understood Zika virus in South and Central America led the US to recommend pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where it was spreading (a warning that remains in place). But it’s actually a familiar mosquito-borne disease that’s now prompting a much wider…
Genetic engineering, researchers hope, will fight disease both by altering the genes of people and by changing the genes of critters known to pass diseases on to us.
Attempts to kill a mosquito aren’t always met with success—these annoying bloodsuckers seem preternaturally good at evading hand swats. Surprising new research suggests mosquitos learn from these near-death experiences, staying clear of a particular odor they’ve learned to associate with the perpetrator.
Diamondback moths may be a mere half-inch in length, but their voracious appetite for Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower make them a major pain for farmers. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a potential solution: moths genetically engineered to contain a special gene that makes them gradually…
Over the past few years, people have been freaking out about a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, concerned that in addition to combatting the spread of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses the mosquitoes would usher in some sort of sci-fi catastrophe. Now, the British…
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found a secondary set of odor sensors on female malarial mosquitoes that appear to be specifically tuned to sniff out humans. While admittedly disturbing, the discovery could lead to new ways of combating malarial mosquitoes and the dreaded disease they carry.
To prevent Zika-infected mosquitoes from taking root in South Carolina, officials in Dorchester County gave the go-ahead to spray a powerful insecticide over the countryside. The effort resulted in the unexpected deaths of millions of bees at a time when these critical pollinators are struggling worldwide.
At a dramatic press conference held earlier today, Governor Rick Scott said Florida is the first state in the US to see locally transmitted Zika virus. The evidence is circumstantial at best, but officials aren’t taking any chances.
Mosquitoes love to breed inside discarded car tires. So why not use this against them? Such is the thinking of Canadian researchers who have developed a DIY mosquito trap that’s already proving its worth in field tests.
The state of Florida is currently considering the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to thwart the transmission of diseases like Zika and dengue. The FDA now says these mutated mosquitoes are safe, taking Florida a significant step closer to an actual field trial.
Zika is now a global emergency, and the latest in a long string of mosquito-borne viruses to afflict humanity. Mosquitoes truly suck, and the time has come to do something about them. Here’s how science will help—and why a war on mosquitoes doesn’t mean we have to wipe them off the face of the planet.
A group of scientists wanted to find the most effective mosquito repellents. So they tested 10 different substances, including campout standbys like DEET, as well as a random choice: Victoria’s Secret perfume Bombshell. Turns out the perfume is almost as good as DEET.
It’s not always easy to find a way to help. Nearly every action has good and bad consequences—as people who mowed down non-native plants in mosquito basins found out. By clearing the plants, they helped increase the risk of spreading West Nile Virus. Find out how.
Self-destructing mosquitoes are maybe possibly my favorite invention of the century. Okay, smartphones and Spotify are pretty great, too, but having just spent a couple of weeks in bug-infested New England, I might be a taaaad biased.
An international team of scientists have isolated a gene within the Aedes aegypti mosquito that partially transforms females into males. Since only females spread diseases by feasting on human blood, the discovery could lead to powerful population control strategies.
From ancient home remedies to modern gadgets and even new clothes technology, there’s no need to suffer mosquito bites this spring. Follow this basic advice and never get bit again.
The U.S. Food and Drug administration is considering a plan in which millions of genetically modified mosquitoes would be set loose in the Florida Keys as a way to combat the spread of tropical diseases.