For years, microbiologist Stephen Beverley, Ph.D., has tried to get the disease-causing parasite Leishmania in the mood for love. In this week’s Science, he and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health report that they may have finally found the answer: Cram enough Leishmania into the gut of an insect known as the sand fly, and the parasite will have sex.
Adults facing unexpected career changes, take note. Scientists from Brazil and Cuba are reporting that honey bees — a mainstay for behavioral research that cannot be done in other animals — change their brains before transitioning to that new job. The research provides valuable insight into the biochemistry behind the behavior, feats of navigation, and social organization in these animals.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new acarine species (Ophionyssus schreibericolus) that lives off black green lizards from the Iberian Peninsula. This involves the first recording of the Ophionyssus genus that feeds off and lives on animals endemic to the peninsula. The researchers now think that these parasites could be found in other reptiles in the region.
Waterdogs, they’re called, these larvae of tiger salamanders used as live bait for freshwater fishing. With tiger salamander larvae, anglers hope to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and other freshwater fishes.