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Science Daily strikes again!

Suggesting there really is a use for everything....

'Flying Vaccinator': Can Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Provide a New Strategy Against Malaria?

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2010) — Mosquitoes transmit infectious diseases to millions of people every year, including malaria for which there is no effective vaccine. New research published in Insect Molecular Biology reveals that mosquito genetic engineering may turn the transmitter into a natural 'flying vaccinator', providing a new strategy for biological control over the disease.

The research, led by Associate Professor Shigeto Yoshida from the Jichi Medical University in Japan, targets the saliva gland of the Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes, the main vectors of human malaria.

"Blood-sucking arthropods including mosquitoes, sand flies and ticks transmit numerous infectious agents during blood feeding," said Yoshida. "This includes malaria, which kills between 1-2 million people, mostly African children, a year. The lack of an effective vaccine means control of the carrier has become a crucial objective to combating the disease."

For the past decade it has been theorized that genetic engineering of the mosquito could create a 'flying vaccinator,' raising hopes for their use as a new strategy for malaria control. However so far research has been limited to a study of the insect's gut and the 'flying vaccinator' theory was not developed.

This has a lot of interesting possibilities:

Weak Laser Can Ignite Nanoparticles, With Exciting Possibilities

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2010) — University of Florida engineering researchers have found they can ignite certain nanoparticles using a low-power laser, a development they say opens the door to a wave of new technologies in health care, computing and automotive design.

A paper about the research appears in this week's advance online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

Vijay Krishna, Nathanael Stevens, Ben Koopman and Brij Moudgil say they used lasers not much more intense than those found in laser pointers to light up, heat or ignite manufactured carbon molecules, known as fullerenes, whose soccer-ball-like shapes had been distorted in certain ways. They said the discovery suggests a score of important new applications for these so-called "functionalized fullerenes" molecules already being developed for a broad range of industries and commercial and medical products.

And this is just plain pretty:

WISE Captures a Cosmic Rosebud Blossoming With New Stars

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2010) — A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars. The stars, called the Berkeley 59 cluster, are the blue dots to the right of the image center. They are ripening out of the dust cloud from which they formed, and at just a few million years old, are young on stellar time scales.

The rosebud-like red glow surrounding the hot, young stars is warm dust heated by the stars. Green "leafy" nebulosity enfolds the cluster, showing the edges of the dense, dusty cloud. This green material is from heated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that can be found on Earth in barbecue pits, exhaust pipes and other places where combustion has occurred.

Red sources within the green nebula indicate a second generation of stars forming at the surface of the natal cloud, possibly as a consequence of heating and compression from the younger stars. A supernova remnant associated with this region, called NGC 7822, indicates that a massive star has already exploded, blowing the cloud open in a "champagne flow" and leaving behind this floral remnant. Blue dots sprinkled throughout are foreground stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

As usual, click links for rest of articles.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
"aromatic hydrocarbons" --- wait, stinky soot? -:D

The rest of that...OMG SCIENCE LOVE <3
Mar. 28th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Seeing the images makes me want a telescope again, but as they're far away and in infrared, I doubt I'd see anything, unless I had something along the lines of the 22-inch Schmidt, and I'm sure Palomar (or whoever owns it) would be loath to let me borrow it.

Wonderful images, though.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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