Tag: microbiomes

Do Yeasts Survive the Winter in the Guts of Wasps?

By Veronique Greenwood | July 30, 2012 4:08 pm

wasp A social wasp emerging from its nest

Yeasts are handy little critters: they help produce the alcohol that make wine and beer so deliciously intoxicating. But how they manage to show up on grapes in vineyards year after year, despite freezing winters when there is little for them to eat, is a bit of a mystery. Scientists thought birds could be keeping the yeasts in their guts through the winter, then sprinkling them (ahem) through vineyards in the spring, but turned out the microorganisms couldn’t survive that long in birds.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World

Scientists Discover Bacterium in Mosquitoes' Gut That Destroys Malaria

By Veronique Greenwood | May 13, 2011 1:55 pm

skeeters
As the number of bacteria in mosquitoes’ guts (x axis) went up,
the malaria parasite levels dropped faster than a cartoon anvil.

What’s the News: We know the bacteria living in our guts are important to our health—but the bacteria in mosquitoes’ guts could be too. Researchers have discovered a species of mosquito gut bacteria that destroys the malaria parasite, keeping the disease from spreading to humans. This explains why some Anopheles mosquitoes (the only genus that transmits malaria) don’t spread it, and it spurs the imagination towards possible ways of tamping down the disease.

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