A highlight from Artificial Light Keeps Mosquitoes Biting Late into the Night

60-Second Science


Imagine this you're in a lab in indiana your arms stuck in a box. The box is filled with bloodthirsty insects in those insects. Well they intend to feed on you the staff scientists who works with me. Don't to sound you'll run is a very good That he doesn't mind exposing to mosquitoes to feed often notre dame professor. Giles duffield convinced colleague to play the role of blood meal for his research on mosquito genetics and behavior it's published in the american journal of tropical medicine and hygiene duffield cared less about whether his colleagues would-be delicious. That was obvious what he really wanted to know was like humans kept awake by the light of their cell phones. Would artificial lighting keep mosquitoes up and biting deep into the night so duffield and his colleagues created an experiment. They monitor the biting behaviors of mosquitoes. Who'd been exposed to pulses of artificial light throughout the night. The effect on the biting knights were approaching those that we would see during the late afternoon. We expect to see the ising doubled editing activity so it's not a small changes. It's a very robust increase. In fighting behavior there are a number of different species of mosquitoes and they behave in different ways. Some bite only at night others are daytime feeders. But there's one species in particular. The duffield and colleagues were focused on eighties. Egypt tie as sort of evolved alongside humans is very adapt to living within human habitation. So any sort of environmental changes that would influence. It's biting behavior could have huge ramifications. Humans probably more than any other mosquito species. Duffield says eighties gypped. I are the major vector for the transmission of diseases like encephalitis to gagnon. Malaria dengue fever. And the zico virus. These are all diseases that have made headlines in recent years and that's why he needed his colleagues arm. We feel as though this is nice. Simple say any represents a more natural stimulus for the mosquito come dockside odorant smells at oni temperature. Trenching to and the physical skin and the chemicals that relations skin. So it's certainly represents a more natural host a mosquito fighting zones but yes unfortunate for those who are investigators is when he gets thirty mosquito bites para say it's painful sometimes. The next step is to look at how different species of mosquitoes respond to. Different kinds of light does something that we're busy trying to investigate right now. In the regional experimentation we just use broad spectrum white light in house we find shuna current future experiments were interested in seeing specific wavelengths ochoa colo- spectrums of light have the same effect tool less effect. Field has some ideas. Hopefully the bride to the lines the logic defect. But again you may find. Extremely bright light inhibits the mosquito So that may be sort of sweet spot in the intensity of like a deal luminance. He says the color of light in the time of night when mosquitos are exposed to light are also parameters worth exploring. He's also interested in studying different species of bloodsucker. Not all mosquitoes feed at night since some mosquitoes are day feeders it raises the question of whether artificial light at night would affect them at all. Eventually the goal is to figure out if they can make recommendations on how people in mosquito-prone parts of the world should light their homes in the short term though future findings will hopefully disarm hungary mosquitoes while preserving the arms of study subjects. They feed on for sixty seconds science. I'm

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