How does the West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, survive the cold mosquito-free months of winter? In New York City, West Nile’s initial beachhead in North America, researchers found that the virus persisted in a kind of suspended animation in mosquitoes hibernating in sewers. But in much of the South, mosquitoes do not truly hibernate during winter — they just reduce their activity rate during cold periods, revving back up whenever the weather warms.
Understanding how the West Nile virus gets through winter under these conditions is crucial to understanding the ecology of West Nile in locations like the Gulf Coasts of Texas and Louisiana. Because of bird-migration patterns, these areas may be significant to the seasonal return of the virus to other parts of North America. In the September issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the Harris County and Galveston County (Texas) mosquito control offices report an initial step toward achieving that goal: the first successful detection of West Nile virus in mosquitoes and dead birds collected near the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts between the months of November and March.
“The evidence suggests year-round West Nile activity in the Gulf region, with virus transmission persisting at a low level throughout the winter months,” said UTMB pathology professor Robert Tesh, the study’s senior author. “That’s quite different from how the virus appears to over-winter in colder regions like New York.”
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy