Enemy number one in the world

Posted By on October 23, 2011

(Reuters) – He keeps them in warm, comfortable bug dorms, feeds them on meals of human blood with the occasional sugar water snack and lives in awe of their killing power.

Seattle-based research scientist Stefan Kappe says mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals in the world.

Which is probably why when his laboratory colleagues slice their heads off with miniscule needle-like scalpels and squeeze them with tweezers to extract early forms of the malaria parasite from their saliva glands, he feels no concern about cruelty to animals.

Kappe has spent his working life trying to figure out how this tiny malaria-carrying insect can inflict so much death and disease on humans, and what he and his team can do to stop it.

According to the World Health Organisation, malaria kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa and costs that continent’s economy $12 billion a year. [read more…]