Tsetse flies, which transmit the trypanosome that causes sleeping sickness in humans and its equivalent in animals, primarily feed on the blood of various animals, such as ruminants, reptiles and humans. However, flies that fed on a given species first time around tend to return to the same species over the next couple of days, rather than changing hosts.
To achieve this result, the researchers worked in a laboratory in Burkina Faso with swarms of 125 flies, each taken from a population of some 100 000 flies reared at CIRDES. Those swarms were then offered a menu with a single dish: one ruminant or reptile species. A few days after that single dish, they were given a choice of two species. Once they had fed, they were dissected to see where the blood they had eaten came from.
Over the next two days, the flies chose the blood of the same species
The results were statistically processed, and showed that the flies that had fed on a ruminant first preferred to feed on a ruminant second time around, rather than on a reptile. Likewise, flies that had fed on a reptile first preferred a reptile second time around. However, while this was the case if the interval between meals was less than two days, it was not so for longer intervals. The experiment was repeated for a three-day interval, and the flies, who were short of food by then, fed indiscriminately on ruminant or reptile blood irrespective of their original host: one's always less difficult when one's hungry!
These results could help us to understand, and even control, trypanosomes and how they are transmitted between species. The stakes are high: of the 42 poorest countries in the world, 32 are in Africa and are home to tsetse flies. Trypanosomiases are found throughout two thirds of the continent of Africa, and cause the deaths of three million head of livestock and the loss of 500 000 tonnes of meat and 1 million tonnes of milk each year. More than 60 million people are at risk of catching the parasite, which kills 100 patients a day.
Helen Burford | alfa
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
09.05.2018 | Technische Universität München
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology