8,116 research outputs found

    Pathogens manipulating tick behavior—through a glass, darkly

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    Pathogens can manipulate the phenotypic traits of their hosts and vectors, maximizing their own fitness. Among the phenotypic traits that can be modified, manipulating vector behavior represents one of the most fascinating facets. How pathogens infection affects behavioral traits of key insect vectors has been extensively investigated. Major examples include Plasmodium, Leishmania and Trypanosoma spp. manipulating the behavior of mosquitoes, sand flies and kissing bugs, respectively. However, research on how pathogens can modify tick behavior is patchy. This review focuses on current knowledge about the behavioral changes triggered by Anaplasma, Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Rickettsia and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infection in tick vectors, analyzing their potential adaptive significance. As a general trend, being infected by Borrelia and TBEV boosts tick mobility (both questing and walking activity). Borrelia and Anaplasma infection magnifies Ixodes desiccation resistance, triggering physiological changes (Borrelia: higher fat reserves; Anaplasma: synthesis of heat shock proteins). Anaplasma infection also improves cold resistance in infected ticks through synthesis of an antifreeze glycoprotein. Being infected by Anaplasma, Borrelia and Babesia leads to increased tick survival. Borrelia, Babesia and Bartonella infection facilitates blood engorgement. In the last section, current challenges for future studies are outlined

    On a Magical Mystery Tour of Green Insecticide Research: Current Issues and Challenges

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    The Editorial outlines recent research advances in green insecticide research. Particular attention is devoted to studies shedding light on the modes of action and non-target toxicity of natural substances of plant origin. Research focusing on the development of new formulations (including those relating to nano-objects) to magnify the effectiveness and stability of green insecticides in the field represents key advances. Herein, a carefully reviewed selection of cutting edge articles about green pesticide development recently published in Molecules is presented. The impact of sub-lethal doses of green insecticides on insect behavioral traits is still overlooked, representing a timely challenge for further research

    Arthropod-Borne Disease Control at a Glance: What's New on Drug Development?

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    Discovering and validating effective drugs to manage arthropod-borne diseases (ABD) is a timely and important research challenge with major impacts on real-world control programs at the time of quick resistance development in the targeted pathogens. This editorial highlights major research advances in the development of drugs for the control of vector-borne diseases, with a significant focus on malaria, Chagas disease, dengue, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and Zika. Broad reviews providing new insights on ABD recently published in Molecules have also been covered in "The Editors' pick" section

    Lysenko and the screwworm fly—when politics interferes with science and public health

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    In the One Health scenario, a deep understanding of the dynamics potentially threatening the development and implementation of useful pest and vector management tools is of key importance. The New World screwworm fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), is characterized by a wide host range. It acts as an important agent of myiasis in humans and warm-blooded animals in the Neotropics, and has been eliminated from a wide region through genetic methods. Of note, Serebrovsky had already proposed in 1940 the principles of autocidal control by the translocation of segments between two chromosomes, but his work was negated by Lysenko, based on the negation of Mendelian genetics. This entomological case study emphasizes the danger of politics interfering with science, a still contemporary hot issue. The negation of global warming or current pandemics are further examples of this noxious influence

    Optimization of Pyro-gasification of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRPs)

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    This work focuses on the optimization of pyro-gasification process of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) with the aim of recovering carbon fibers (CFs) with properties suitable for the production of new more sustainable composites with high performances. In particular, the pyro-gasification process is carried out on cured CFRPs panels based on both epoxy (EC) and vinyl ester (VC) matrices, which are the two most used resins for CFRPs. The matrix degradation is evaluated via sample's weight loss measurement and the recovered CFs obtained after different time of treatment are analyzed to identify convenient pyro-gasification conditions to avoid damaging of the recovered CFs. The obtained results highlight the importance of the thickness of the composites to be treated for the identification of the more suitable pyro-gasification conditions

    Biosurfactants produced by Bacillus subtilis A1 and Pseudomonas stutzeri NA3 reduce longevity and fecundity of Anopheles stephensi and show high toxicity against young instars

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    Anopheles stephensi acts as vector of Plasmodium parasites, which are responsible for malaria in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. Currently, malaria management is a big challenge due to the presence of insecticide-resistant strains as well as to the development of Plasmodium species highly resistant to major antimalarial drugs. Therefore, the present study focused on biosurfactant produced by two bacteria Bacillus subtilis A1 and Pseudomonas stutzeri NA3, evaluating them for insecticidal applications against malaria mosquitoes. The produced biosurfactants were characterized using FT-IR spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), which confirmed that biosurfactants had a lipopeptidic nature. Both biosurfactants were tested against larvae and pupae of A. stephensi. LC50 values were 3.58 (larva I), 4.92 (II), 5.73 (III), 7.10 (IV), and 7.99 (pupae) and 2.61 (I), 3.68 (II), 4.48 (III), 5.55 (IV), and 6.99 (pupa) for biosurfactants produced by B. subtilis A1 and P. stutzeri NA3, respectively. Treatments with bacterial surfactants led to various physiological changes including longer pupal duration, shorter adult oviposition period, and reduced longevity and fecundity. To the best of our knowledge, there are really limited reports on the mosquitocidal and physiological effects due to biosurfactant produced by bacterial strains. Overall, the toxic activity of these biosurfactant on all young instars of A. stephensi, as well as their major impact on adult longevity and fecundity, allows their further consideration for the development of insecticides in the fight against malaria mosquitoes

    CloudScout: A deep neural network for on-board cloud detection on hyperspectral images

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    The increasing demand for high-resolution hyperspectral images from nano and microsatellites conflicts with the strict bandwidth constraints for downlink transmission. A possible approach to mitigate this problem consists in reducing the amount of data to transmit to ground through on-board processing of hyperspectral images. In this paper, we propose a custom Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) deployed for a nanosatellite payload to select images eligible for transmission to ground, called CloudScout. The latter is installed on the Hyperscout-2, in the frame of the Phisat-1 ESA mission, which exploits a hyperspectral camera to classify cloud-covered images and clear ones. The images transmitted to ground are those that present less than 70% of cloudiness in a frame. We train and test the network against an extracted dataset from the Sentinel-2 mission, which was appropriately pre-processed to emulate the Hyperscout-2 hyperspectral sensor. On the test set we achieve 92% of accuracy with 1% of False Positives (FP). The Phisat-1 mission will start in 2020 and will operate for about 6 months. It represents the first in-orbit demonstration of Deep Neural Network (DNN) for data processing on the edge. The innovation aspect of our work concerns not only cloud detection but in general low power, low latency, and embedded applications. Our work should enable a new era of edge applications and enhance remote sensing applications directly on-board satellite
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