Agriculture
Fast-flying fungal spores
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Watering the Air
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders
Newts
Animals
Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp
Baboons Listen for Who's Tops
Elephant Mimics
Behavior
When Darwin got sick of feathers
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Island of Hope
Birds
Tropical Birds
Chicken
Flamingos
Chemistry and Materials
Getting the dirt on carbon
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Pencil Thin
Computers
The Shape of the Internet
New twists for phantom limbs
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
The man who rocked biology to its core
Message in a dinosaur's teeth
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Life under Ice
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
Environment
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
The Wolf and the Cow
Finding the Past
A Long Trek to Asia
Chicken of the Sea
Stonehenge Settlement
Fish
Flounder
Halibut
Mahi-Mahi
Food and Nutrition
Sponges' secret weapon
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Pronouns
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
A New Touch
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
The tell-tale bacteria
Invertebrates
Scallops
Flatworms
Mussels
Mammals
Great Danes
Giant Panda
Persian Cats
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Project Music
One ring around them all
Plants
Fastest Plant on Earth
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Underwater Jungles
Reptiles
Anacondas
Box Turtles
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
A Dusty Birthplace
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
Algae Motors
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
How to Fly Like a Bat
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
The solar system's biggest junkyard
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around

The tiny bugs that can cause disease often have ingenious ways of spreading themselves around. Now, scientists have figured out how one particular parasite does it—by forcing its host sand fly to spit up. First, the parasite multiplies in a sand fly's throat, floating in a blob of gel it makes for itself. Then, when the fly bites a person, the fly spits up, depositing the gel and its cargo of parasites into the person's bloodstream. The infection spreads rapidly. It sounds gross, but it's definitely effective. About 12 million people around the world are infected with different species of these parasites, known as leishmania. Some species of these single-celled organisms are lethal. Leishmania mexicana, which the scientists studied, is one of the milder forms. If the infection isn't treated, the parasite causes skin lesions that can leave severe scars. Leishmania mexicana takes advantage of how sand flies make a living. These flies must feed on blood, from humans or other mammals, to survive. When a sand fly bites a mammal, the fly coughs up the blob of leishmania gel into the mammal's bloodstream, sending countless parasites on their way. Scientists at the University of Liverpool in England wanted to find out how important the gel is for the leishmania parasite to infect its host. If there were no gel, would the parasite still invade the new host successfully? They did some tests with mice to find out. When they injected the parasite along with the gel, skin lesions appeared quickly. But when they injected the parasite on its own, without the gel, they found that skin lesions took longer to appear. This result suggested that something in the gel gives the parasite a boost, speeding up the process of infection. The scientists then figured out that a particular type of protein in the gel is the important ingredient. But they're not sure exactly how this protein does its job. If researchers can work out how the protein works, it may help them design a vaccine that can combat leishmania. A new vaccine won't help sand flies, though. Once infected, these little critters are stuck with leishmania—and the accompanying blobs of gel—for life.—S. McDonagh

Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™