February 27, 2013

Mosquito     Photo: Mick E. Talbot/Flickr

Mosquitoes Become Immune to Deet

Uh-oh

Is there a more ominous insect-related quote than this one? "Mosquitoes are very good at evolving very, very quickly." If so, I don’t want to hear it.

According to a recent study from a group of scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine—including Dr. James Logan, author of the above quote—the repellent Deet affects mosquitoes on first exposure, but it loses its power soon after. In other words, they seem to become immune to bug spray.

To find out more, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took some A. aegypti mosquitoes in the laboratory and tempted them with a human arm covered in Deet.

As expected, the repellent put the insects off their potential meal.

However, a few hours later when the same mosquitoes were offered a chance to dine again, the researchers found that the Deet was less effective.

The researchers stressed that their findings don’t mean that people in high-risk areas should stop using Deet. They hope their research will help with the development of more effective types of mosquito repellent.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

TV Producer Killed by Shark in New Zealand

Swimming near the beach in Auckland

Award-winning TV and film producer Adam Strange was mauled to death Wednesday by what is believed to be a great white shark off the coast of New Zealand. Strange, 46, was swimming off of Auckland’s Muriwai Beach when he was attacked and pulled under.

According to one witness, the shark swam away after the initial attack, but returned with several others before rescuers could reach Strange. Police arrived at the scene and fired at least 20 rounds at the animals from a lifeboat and helicopter in an attempt to scare them off, according to CNN.

The sharks eventually let go, but Strange was already dead. It took rescuers 30 minutes to recover the body.

While the species of shark remains unconfirmed, environmental officials said that multiple great whites had been spotted in the area over the weekend near Muriwai. Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the country's Department of Conservation, said that even though New Zealand is a hotspot for great whites, they rarely attack people. “Ninety-nine percent of the time they ignore people,” he said. “Sometimes, people get bitten.”

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Slater surfs Huntington Beach, August 2011     Photo: Pedro Szekely/Flickr

Quiksilver Cuts Athletes in Downsizing

Cuts 30 staff, other brands

A handful of sponsored athletes and about 30 staff members at surf company Quiksilver have lost their jobs following broad cuts that affected several of the group's brands.

While the company hasn't made the specifics of the cuts public, they've reportedly eliminated most of their BMX and surf teams under their DC brand, while completely cutting their DC Women, Quiksilver Women, and Quiksilver Girls brands.

The company's biggest-name athletes, including Tony Hawk, Dane Reynolds, and Kelly Slater, have reportedly all kept their sponsorships. The restructuring follows the appointment of new CEO Andy Mooney, who joined Quiksilver earlier this year and has presided over a threefold growth in the company's stock price.

Via Transworld Business

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Lebanese mountains covered in snow.     Photo: milacy/Flickr

Avalanche in Lebanon Kills 1

Three others taken to the hospital

Four men were caught in an avalanche while snowmobiling in northern Lebanon Wednesday morning, killing one. The group was snowmobiling on Qornet al-Sawda—Lebanon's highest peak at 9,842 feet above sea level—when they triggered the slide.

The Lebanese Civil Defense Forces are still searching the area, though there have been no reports of any other victims.

While avalanches are not particularly common in Lebanon, winters can draw plenty of snow in the mountains. Last February, parts of the country received around 40 feet of snow over a five-day span.

Via Daily Star

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