Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beer, bats and Marmite beats a tropical peril

.....Based on my research, Chris has devised a plan. He has taken to the swimming pool to learn breath control, thus reducing his carbon dioxide output. He is planning to add ice (in his shame) to his beer to cool his core body temperature. And as he can't stand Marmite, he is going to smother his ankles in it. If that fails he will give a typically English two-fingered salute to the flying bloodsuckers and invest in a white kaftan!.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mosquitoes Also Sing!

Mosquito Mating Song: Dengue Fever Duet

The identification of a particular love ballad performed by Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for spreading dengue and yellow fevers, has one group of Cornell University scientists whistling happily along.... read more at:,8599,1870535,00.html

Range Of Dengue-Fever Mosquito Could Be Dramatically Expanded By The Hoarding Of Rainwater

Ecologists have developed a new model to predict the impact of climate change on the dengue fever-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti in Australia ....... read more at:

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Power (or Danger) of Photoshop

CASE 1: Microarray Images faked by UCSF postdoc

A University of California, San Francisco, postdoc ripped off images from a colleague and jiggered data files, the NIH's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) recently reported ...........

read more at:

CASE 2: Iowa biologist falsified figures
Former University of Iowa molecular biologist, Jusan Yang, falsified several figures in an unpublished manuscript and at two scientific meetings, the US Public Health Service's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) reported ......
read more at:

CASE 3: Postdoc censured for fudged images
A Texas stem cell researcher falsified data by mucking around with her results in Photoshop, according to an Office of Research Integrity (ORI)...
read more at:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

An Interesting Solution to the Mosquito Problem

Alaska Science Forum, July 8, 1982

Article #551 by Larry Gedney

This article is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Larry Gedney is a seismologist at the Institute.

About a month ago, I requested that knowledgeable citizens respond to this column with their own favorite mosquito repellent remedies.
John Rosa, a 23-year resident of Alaska, reports a method that is probably not familiar to many of us. It requires at least one other participant. To quote: "First, when going fishing, camping, mining or even gardening, before you start, give your partner, wife, sweetheart or mother a banana. This produces a scent through the pores of their skin which attracts mosquitoes to them, leaving you relatively free."
Another of Mr. Rosa's recommendations, which may (or may not be) quite as tongue-in-cheek, is that a used Bull Durham bag filled with mothballs and hung outside the tent not only keeps mosquitoes away from the campsite, but also wards off black bears."

The Truth About Ultrasonic Mosquito Repellers

"The convenient, pocket-sized, battery-powered hoax"
Hahaha, this is interesting - a great but unethical business idea!
Read more at:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mosquito Inspired Music

THE MOSQUITO POEM (by William Cullen Bryant)

The Mosquito

Fair insect! that with threadlike legs spread out
And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing,
Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
In pitiless ears, full many a plaintive thing,
And tell how little our large veins should bleed,
Would we but yield them to thy bitter need?

Unwillingly I own, and, what is worse,
Full angrily men hearken to thy plaint;
Thou gettest many a brush and many a curse,
For saying thou art gaunt and starved and faint.
Even the old beggar, while he asks for food,
Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could.

I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween,
Has not the honor of so proud a birth-
Thou com'st from Jersey meadows, fresh and green,
The offspring of the gods, though born on earth;
For Titan was thy sire, and fair was she,
The ocean nymph that nursed thy infancy.

Beneath the rushes was thy cradle swung,
And when at length thy gauzy wings grew strong,
Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung,
Rose in the sky, and bore thee soft along;
The south wind breathed to waft thee on thy way,
And danced and shone beneath the billowy bay.

Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence
Came the deep murmur of its throng of men,
And as its grateful odors met thy sense,
They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen.
Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight
Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.

At length thy pinion fluttered in Broadway--
Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed
By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray
Shone through the snowy veils like stars through mist;
And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin,
Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin.

Sure these were sights to tempt an anchorite!
What! do I hear thy slender voice complain?
Thou wailest when I talk of beauty's light,
As if it brought the memory of pain.
Thou art a wayward being--well--come near,
And pour thy tale of sorrow in mine ear.

What say'st thou, slanderer! rouge makes thee sick?
And China Bloom at best is sorry food?
And Rowland's Kalydor, if laid on thick,
Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood.Go!
'Twas a just reward that met thy crime-
But shun the sacrilege another time.

That bloom was made to look at--not to touch;
To worship--not approach--that radiant white;
And well might sudden vengeance light on such
As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite.
Thou shouldst have gazed at distance and admired-
Murmur'd thy admiration and retired.

Thou'rt welcome to the town--but why come here
To bleed a brother poet, gaunt like thee?
Alas! the little blood I have is dear,
And thin will be the banquet drawn from me.
Look round--the pale-eyed sisters in my cell,
Thy old acquaintance, Song and Famine, dwell.

Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood
Enrich'd by gen'rous wine and costly meat;
On well-filled skins, sleek as thy native mud,
Fix thy light pump, and press thy freckled feet.
Go to the men for whom, in ocean's halls,
The oyster breeds and the green turtle sprawls.

There corks are drawn, and the red vintage flows.
To fill the swelling veins for thee, and now
The ruddy cheek, and now the ruddier nose
Shall tempt thee, as thou flittest round the brow;
And when the hour of sleep its quiet brings,
No angry hand shall rise to brush thy wings.

William Cullen Bryant (November 3, 1794 - June 12, 1878)


The Mosquito Ringtone

What is the Mosquito Ringtone?
The short version, A tone outside the audible range of hearing for most people over the age of 30. This means that you can get phone calls and receive text messages in class or school without teachers hearing it. For more in-depth information on how the mosquito ringtone works, please see

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm here when not in office.

Come by for a drink!

Bill Gates on saving the world

Bill Gates' infamous TED talk, during which he released a jar of mosquitoes into the audience (and here you can insert your favorite joke involving Microsoft and bugs):

Other interesting TED talks are here!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New mosquito device "will keep teenagers off the streets"

Following the success of the Mosquito anti-teenager alarm, which works by emitting a high-pitched sound that only teenagers can hear, the company responsible has produced its new Mark III version. This works by releasing thousands of real mosquitoes infected with malaria. Having been bitten by the mosquitoes, the teenagers will then go to develop the disease, which can result in renal failure, coma and death, within 6-14 days, thus making it impossible for them to hang around in anti-social gangs. The manufacturers of the device, Klansmen SS Holdings, say it has a 90% success rate. "The target, or 'teenager', will, once bitten, start to develop cyclical occurrences of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting four to six hours," said Mr. A.M.Frei, director of the company. "Charlie won't want to hang with his filthy compadres no more when the vomiting and convulsions kick in". Mrs Doris, chairman of the Residents Association of Nottingham said, "We would like to see more teenagers off the streets, cowering in their homes with bleeding ears, retching and shivering as they slide into comas. Anything to make Britain a more pleasant place to live in".

Article from The Spoof, 15 February 2008