Agriculture
Seeds of the Future
Silk’s superpowers
Getting the dirt on carbon
Amphibians
Newts
Bullfrogs
Toads
Animals
Living in the Desert
Chicken Talk
Bee Disease
Behavior
The case of the headless ant
The Disappearing Newspaper
Listen and Learn
Birds
Chicken
Eagles
Geese
Chemistry and Materials
Getting the dirt on carbon
Batteries built by Viruses
Music of the Future
Computers
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Earth from the inside out
Getting in Touch with Touch
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
A Living Fossil
Dino Babies
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
Deep Drilling at Sea
Greener Diet
Hot Summers, Wild Fires
Environment
Where rivers run uphill
Pollution Detective
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Finding the Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
Untangling Human Origins
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Fish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Electric Catfish
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
How Super Are Superfruits?
The mercury in that tuna
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
Disease Detectives
The tell-tale bacteria
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Invertebrates
Dust Mites
Mosquitos
Ticks
Mammals
Bats
Chimpanzees
Labradors
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Speedy stars
Black Hole Journey
Plants
Bright Blooms That Glow
Plants Travel Wind Highways
A Change in Leaf Color
Reptiles
Caimans
Copperhead Snakes
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
A Dusty Birthplace
A Great Ball of Fire
Technology and Engineering
Algae Motors
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Slip Sliming Away
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Reach for the Sky
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
A Dire Shortage of Water
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™