Mosquito sterility to manage disease

Sterility may be the answer to eradicating mosquito-borne disease in Australia, a breakthrough study shows. An international team led by Australian researchers from CSIRO, James Cook University, and the University of Queensland (UQ), have found that a bacteria can successfully sterilise invasive, disease-carrying mosquitos (Aedes aegypti) that spread dengue, Zika and yellow fever. The researchers … Continue reading Mosquito sterility to manage disease

Cats love it but mozzies don’t

At the risk of becoming the Pied Piper of cats, you could use the garden herb catnip as a non-toxic insect repellent – and scientists have now nutted out why it wards off mozzies and other irritating bugs. The active ingredient nepetalactone in the mint-like herb (Nepeta cataria) selectively activates the irritant receptor TRPA1 (transient … Continue reading Cats love it but mozzies don’t

Genetically modified mosquitoes for better health

What is the risk of getting a disease from a genetically modified mozzie? Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading many diseases, such as malaria, What is the risk of getting a disease from a genetically modified mozzie? Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading many diseases, such as malaria, lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), and the o’nyong’nyong … Continue reading Genetically modified mosquitoes for better health

Catnip steers mozzies off moggies

Seen your cat rolling around in catnip (Nepeta cataria) or silver vine (Actinidia polygama)? Your furry friend might be using it as an insect repellent. Silver vine is a catnip alternative that cats love. Now, a team led by Reiko Uenoyama of Iwate University, Japan has found that this might be because of a specific … Continue reading Catnip steers mozzies off moggies

More fuel in the fight against mosquitoes

The quest to conquer mosquitoes continues apace and from various angles. In two new studies, scientists report that they have reinvigorated an insecticide commonly used to kill malaria vectors and are learning what humans taste like to one of the world’s most annoying insects. In the first paper, published in the journal PNAS, researchers led … Continue reading More fuel in the fight against mosquitoes

Mozzies thrive with a gene missing

This may seem hard to believe given their tenacity and constant presence, but mosquitoes lack a gene that is critical for survival in other insects. Entomologists from the University of Maryland, US, say it’s the one responsible for properly arranging an insect’s segmented body. In mozzies, a related gene has evolved to do the job. … Continue reading Mozzies thrive with a gene missing

Trapped critters and monitored mozzies

Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. This week we’re thinking about keeping wildlife safe from human-made obstacles, and considering the spread and prevalence of Australian mosquito species. Entangled Wildlife Australia Generally speaking, fences and nets aren’t fabulous for wildlife. Animals can become entangled in barbed wire, … Continue reading Trapped critters and monitored mozzies

Mosquitoes are really on the radar

The quest to curb the spread of malaria rightly knows no bounds, and now we’re even turning to radar technology – with promising results. An international team of scientists from nine countries has used LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to remotely track wild mosquito populations from a village in southwest Tanzania.  They found the insects were … Continue reading Mosquitoes are really on the radar