A new study by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers offers a wealth of information about the rhythmic nature of gene expression in Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito species that transmits the malaria parasite from person to person. Each year, roughly 250 million people suffer from malaria and that results in one million deaths, mostly pregnant women and children under five years of age.
Mosquitoes, like all animals, show daily rhythms in behavior and physiology. The rhythmic behaviors of Anopheles gambiae include dusk mating swarms, nocturnal flight activity and feeding on sugar and blood-meal hosts and egg-laying. The exclusive biting of humans at night by Anopheles gambiae provides the basis of protection by insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) used while people are sleeping. This contrasts with the dengue/yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypi, which bites during the day and to which ITNs afford no protection. Read More