Nietzsche, and How He Helps Us Beat Ya, Malaria

Paraphrased, Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretation.” This could apply to malarial species. If you do some intense data searching, that is, you have a computer, Wi-Fi, and then Google, “number of malaria species that infect people” – typical results include 4, 5, and 6. They could all be correct. Four has been Continue Reading

Malaria, Thy Name Is Shapeshifter

The Chinese Nei Ching text dating back more than 4000 years (2700 BCE), attributes malaria to the machinations of three demons: one carrying a hammer, another a bucket of water, and one, a stove. While this helped explain the headaches, chills, and fevers then, today, vaccine researchers might be tempted to count a higher number Continue Reading

Maggots Among Us, Part 2

In the previous post, we introduced the Old World (OWS) and New World (NWS) screwworms.  Both species have many common characteristics.  Here, we discuss lifecycles and methods of eradication. Both OWS and NWS follow similar lifecycles.  Duration depends on ambient temperatures, with cooler temps lengthening the cycle.  Adult females oviposit at the borders of wounds Continue Reading

Are You Cool Enough for a Superfamily?

Superfamilies. The answer is yes! As an ape, you are a card-carrying member of the superfamily Hominoidea. Taxonomy classifies all living beings from three domains of life through 8 different levels to the most specific final categories of genus and species. At times, eight levels just aren’t enough to properly group. When this occurs, we Continue Reading

The Mosquito Has a Smile Like No Other

How do you pronounce "proboscis?" One of my favorite teachers, a forensic entomologist, held a pet peeve for pronouncing the mosquito’s mouthparts as “pro-baa-skus (prəˈbɑːskɪs)” instead of “pro-baa-sis” (prəˈbɑːsɪs). She would remind everyone we study “Science,” not “Sky-unce.” Long before I learned about this controversy, I remember stabbing my juice box with my dinosaur-mosquito mouthpart Continue Reading