Oxford scientists have discovered a particularly macabre method one parasite (Strepsiptera) has for disguising itself in its insect host: it wraps itself in a piece of the host’s own body tissue. In this way the strepsipteran masquerades as ‘self’, and is protected from the insect’s immune system.
Strepsipteran larva: Stichotrema dallatorreanum Hofeneder (Myrmecolacidae) (Papua New Guinea). From Kathirithamby & al. (1998). Copyright © 1998 Taylor & Francis.
The mechanism whereby Strepsiptera flourish without interference from the host has so far been a mystery. Scientists have been intrigued by the exceptional diversity of host insects exploited by the parasite. They were even more mystified by the fact that in one family, males and females parasitize different insects: the males live inside ants, whilst the females live inside grasshoppers, mantids and crickets. What, they wondered, was the mechanism allowing Strepsiptera to overcome the immune response of such diverse hosts?
To find out more, Dr Jeyaraney Kathirithamby of the Department of Zoology and her colleagues observed samples of the parasite before, during and after host invasion. She saw that the larva of the parasite enters the insect by repeatedly jabbing against its cuticle with its head until it can burrow inside. Once it is just beneath the cuticle, it remains in constant motion and its ‘wriggling’ separates out the epidermis from the endocuticle until the epidermis encloses the larva. This eventually forms a kind of bag, which separates off, allowing the larva to move deeper inside the host, safe in its bag of tissue.
Ruth Collier | alfa
Russian scientists show changes in the erythrocyte nanostructure under stress
22.02.2019 | Lobachevsky University
How the intestinal fungus Candida albicans shapes our immune system
22.02.2019 | Exzellenzcluster Präzisionsmedizin für chronische Entzündungserkrankungen
An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, a so-called jet, emerging from the only gravitational wave event involving two neutron stars observed so far. With its high sensitivity and excellent performance, the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg played an important role in the observations.
In August 2017, two neutron stars were observed colliding, producing gravitational waves that were detected by the American LIGO and European Virgo detectors....
Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.
The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
22.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2019 | Materials Sciences
22.02.2019 | Life Sciences