Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ticks. Huh. What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing? So I was recently posed this question: “What is the point of ticks? Seriously, what purpose do they serve?” Fair question. I have recently joined the field of vector-borne disease, more specifically working with arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses), which … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology

Vaccinations Part 2: Controversy

Back to the topic of vaccines. A vaccination is designed to provoke the same immune response as an infection, minus the runny nose, sneezing, coughing,¬†hemorrhagic fever and dying parts that might accompany infection by the actual organism. A vaccine usually … Continue reading

Posted in Science Stuff

Vaccinations Part 1: Immunity

So one of the more ‘exciting’ aspects of my research, which could be generally described as contributing to the goal of understanding the interaction between mosquito-borne viruses and the host immune system, is the fact that I will undoubtedly be … Continue reading

Posted in Science Stuff

Edgar Mitchell

Did anyone else grow up thinking that the coolest job in the world had to be that of an astronaut? I mean, seriously…leaving the planet, walking in space, setting foot on the moon. How cool is that?! I happen to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

An argument for eating insects!

This is an excellent story from NPR that I happened upon this morning: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/19/223728061/making-food-from-flies-its-not-that-icky To summarize, it features an attempt to use insects (in this case the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly) as biomass converters, aiming at recycling various … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology

Black widows!

I just read a NY Times article from yesterday about the much-feared black widow spider, contributed by an author from Charlottesville, VA. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/science/dancing-with-black-widows.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 His experience with these legendary spiders is actually similar to my own. Until recently, my wife and … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology

Working Gears Evolved in Plant-Hopping Insect [Video]: Scientific American

Working Gears Evolved in Plant-Hopping Insect [Video]: Scientific American. The world of insect-related news is really hoppin’! Get it? Leaf hoppers? *sigh*

Posted in Entomology, Science Stuff

Hooray for…tarantulas?

A trending story right now that features giant spiders? Sign me up! A group of Australian researchers just published a report in PLoS describing their findings that a peptide isolated from tarantula venom could be used as an oral insecticide. … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology

Geeky Bug Moment…

One of the many things that interests me is entomology…so much so that I am now a graduate student in entomology. One of the great things about being a part of the Entomology Department is that you are surrounded by … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology

Biochemistry

Since I am a student, that means that I get to take classes. I am actually rather excited about this, and even more excited that I do not have a list of required courses that I have to take, but … Continue reading

Posted in Science Stuff