A nationwide investigation of the prevalence and distribution of ticks and exposure to tick-borne diseases highlights the value of public participation in science. The study, published on July 12 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by Nathan Nieto of Northern Arizona University and colleagues, and funded by Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
When honey bees need a new emergency queen, they forego the chance to promote members of their own worker subfamilies, opting instead to nurture larvae of 'royal' subfamilies, according to a study published July 11 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by James Withrow and David Tarpy of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
A new study conducted at the University of Michigan reveals a previously unrecognized threat to monarch butterflies: Mounting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide reduce the medicinal properties of milkweed plants that protect the iconic insects from disease.
In the eastern US, risk of contracting Lyme disease is higher in fragmented forests with high rodent densities and low numbers of resident fox, opossum, and raccoons. These are among the findings from an analysis of 19 years of data on the ecology of tick-borne disease in a forested landscape, recently published in the journal Ecology.
The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a highly invasive species and a vector of multiple pathogens including various viruses, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. A new Medical and Veterinary Entomology study that evaluated the relationship between the mosquito's presence and habitat variables at a small scale provides important information for planning effective prevention and control campaigns.
How do insects survive harsh northern winters? Unlike mammals, they don't have thick coats of fur to keep warm. But they do have antifreeze. Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) prevent ice from forming and spreading inside their bodies. The existence of these AFPs has been known for decades, but the mechanisms governing this unique survival technique have proven difficult to determine. The existence of these AFPs has been known for decades, but the mechanisms governing this unique survival technique have proven difficult to determine.
In a new pilot study, researchers in Texas successfully attached miniature radio transmitters to kissing bugs and tracked their movements. Also known as triatomine bugs, kissing bugs transmit the pathogen that causes Chagas disease in humans and animals. They typically move at night and hide during day, and uncovering their secretive movements could play a key role in reducing their impact as a disease vector.
Pigments and the fine structure of butterfly wing scales work together to generate a mosaic of colors and patterns that help the insect camouflage or attract mates. In the journal Cell Reports, scientists show it only takes a few pigment genes to modify both color and morphology of wing scales. Researchers used CRISPR/Cas9 to tweak wing colors of an East African butterfly and found that it changed the scales' surface structure, as well as color.
Scientists have discovered that the quality of the host rice plant determines whether the brown planthopper, a major pest on rice in Asia, grows short wings or long wings.
Medicines given to household pets to kill fleas and ticks might be effective for preventing outbreaks of malaria, Zika fever and other dangerous insect-borne diseases.