Science by the Pint

Our SbtP events in October feature…

Flaminia Catteruccia
Love Bites: Studying Mosquito Sex to Block Malaria Transmission

Monday, October 10, 6:30-8:30pm at the Burren (247 Elm Street, Somerville) (directions)

Flaminia Catteruccia, Ph.D., is a molecular entomologist and an Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She specializes in the reproductive biology of Anopheles mosquitoes, the only mosquitoes capable of transmitting human malaria. Since the beginning of the millennium, malaria has caused over 10 million deaths. Targeting and preventing Anopheles mosquito reproduction would curb malaria transmission and limit the significant public health burden caused by this disease.

To this end, her research group studies the molecular and behavioral parameters necessary for Anopheles mosquitos to spread the Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria. Investigating how Anopheles mosquitos reproduce and the vector-Plasmodium interactions underlying their ability to spread disease are two of the main endeavors in her laboratory. Translating bench-side research to the field is a priority of the lab. Fieldwork studies in Africa on Anopheles mating biology and natural malaria infections are undertaken in collaboration with IRSS in Burkina Faso, ICIPE in Kenya and other partners. Insecticide resistance among Anopheles mosquito populations threatens existing efforts to control malaria and thus developing products that can be used instead of, or in addition to, current control measures is a long-standing goal of Dr. Catteruccia’s research.

Researchers from the Center for Space Physics at Boston University
Living on the Edge… of Space! Defining Boundaries in a Vacuum

Thursday, October 20th, 6:30-8:30pm at Aeronaut Brewery (14 Tyler Street, Somerville) (directions)

Although we don’t see it that much down on earth, near the edge of space, ionized gases or plasmas, play a major role. These plasmas can affect our society on a number of levels by interfering with our GPS signals to creating beautiful light shows with the aurora borealis. To study this scientists use a number of different tools at their disposal including remote sensors, satellites and large scale simulations to understand these different phenomena.


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