Insects

1:51pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:57 am

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

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9:55am

Thu January 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

After Years Of Silence, The Plague Can Rise Again

There's no doubt that the plague has staying power.

The deadly bacterium has probably been infecting people for 20,000 years. And, its genes have hardly changed since it killed nearly half of Europe's population during The Black Death.

Now microbiologists have evidence that strains of the plague may be able to reactivate themselves and trigger new outbreaks — even after lying dormant for decades.

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9:38am

Wed January 2, 2013

1:48am

Wed January 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Mosquito Maven Takes Bites For Malaria Research

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:47 am

Chiara Andolina, a malaria researcher in Thailand, feeds her mosquito colony by letting the insects bite her right arm. These mosquitoes are picky and will dine only on live human blood.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Most of us do everything possible to avoid mosquitoes. But one Italian researcher literally sacrifices her right arm to keep the lowly insects alive.

Chiara Adolina is studying a new malaria drug, and she needs the little suckers for her experiments. So she feeds them each day with her own blood.

She extends her arm into a mosquito cage to give the insects "breakfast." Several dozen mosquitoes spread across her forearm and jam their proboscises into her skin. "Can you see how fat they become?" she says. "Look at that tummy."

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5:42am

Sat December 29, 2012
Shots - Health News

As Biodiversity Declines, Tropical Diseases Thrive

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 7:24 am

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever, which may become a bigger problem in some regions as biodiversity is lost.
James Gathany CDC Public Health Image Library

Global health advocates often argue that the tropical diseases that plague many countries, such as malaria and dengue, can be conquered simply with more money for health care – namely medicines and vaccines.

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