Quick updates on fireflies, mice and mosquitoes


August 25, 2016

Did you know?

Firefly Fireflies (lampyridae) are on the decline. One of the prime suspects is overharvesting for biomedical use. Two of their enzymes, luciferin and luciferase, are used to track the growth of cancer tumors, for example.
Source: Xerces.org

iS_89429921_MouseMagnets make mice happy. A recent report in Nature Neuroscience found that lab mice walking through a magnetic field made their brain react pleasurably, similar to having eaten a delicious treat. While the “remote control” of the nervous systems of living animals is a bit on the scary side, it does have health treatment implications — as well as the potential for new pest management techniques. Before you start taking magnets off the fridge and placing them into your bait stations, though, remember this is a preliminary study.
Source: Nature.com

iS_22158043_ZikaSmell bad to mosquitoes, good to everyone else. Researchers at the University of California-Riverside are working on a lotion that smells mildly like grape and orange blossom. It’s a pleasant scent to (most) humans, but repels Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito. The team hopes to bring it to market by 2018.
Source: UniversityOfCalifornia.edu

Photos: ©istock.com/Oktay Ortakcioglu/ Damrongpan Thongwat

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