Insects

10:05am

Thu May 16, 2013
Shots - Health News

Human Scent Is Even Sweeter For Malaria Mosquitoes

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:13 am

An Anopheles gambiae mosquito feasts on a human.
Jim Gathany CDC

People smell yummy to mosquitoes.

So yummy, in fact, that our scent is a big way the pesky insects track us down.

But just how much mosquitoes like Eau de Human may not be entirely up to the bugs.

Mosquitoes are more attracted to human odors when they're infected with the malaria parasite, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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8:59am

Tue May 14, 2013
The Salt

Maybe It's Time To Swap Burgers For Bugs, Says U.N.

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:49 pm

A vendor sells edible insects at Talad Thai market on the outskirts of Bangkok. The most popular method of preparation is to deep-fry crickets in oil and then sprinkle them with lemongrass slivers and chilis.
NARONG SANGNAK EPA /Landov

7:51am

Tue May 14, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

What Is It About Bees And Hexagons?

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:26 am

Robert Krulwich NPR

Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you've been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud ... ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon?

Bees, after all, could build honeycombs from rectangles or squares or triangles ...

But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always hexagons.

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11:47am

Sun May 12, 2013
Around the Nation

For Year-Round Buzz, Beekeepers 'Fast-Forward Darwinism'

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 pm

The Plymouth County Beekeepers Association distributed more than 500 crates of honeybees this spring.
Katherine Perry for NPR

Beekeepers In Massachusetts are taking the mission to save the bees into their own hands.

There has been a dramatic disappearance of honeybees across the U.S. since 2006. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report blamed a combination of problems, including mites, disease, poor nutrition and pesticides.

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12:14pm

Thu May 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

Using Bacteria To Swat Malaria Inside Mosquitoes

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 am

More than a hundred different species of Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria to people.
Adam Cole NPR

It's a bit like probiotics for mosquitoes.

When scientists infect mosquitoes with a specific bacterium, the insects become resistant to the malaria parasite.

Sounds like an easy way to stamp out malaria, right? Just introduce the infected mosquitoes into an area and let the bugs take over the natural population.

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