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.”
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
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19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy