Another collaborative digital fabrication service. This time the job was to print a mosquito, not a very nice one. It’s a kind of mosquito that transmits malaria to humans.

We’ve asked Eleonora Aquilini, researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular-Lisbon, to tell us more about this project:

“What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?
Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close.
Malaria is transmitted among humans by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles.
Female mosquitoes take blood meals to carry out egg production, and such blood meals are the link between the human and the mosquito hosts in the parasite life cycle.

Here you have a video: https://youtu.be/tt4JWHRFKoI

Our mosquito, GelPrude, will be shown in Milan (Italy) during the EXPO, in an activity to introduce children to science and investigation.

The name of activity is “Be a researcher for a day”:

Who hasn’t dreamt as a child of being Indiana Jones and uncovering ancient treasures buried in the sand? Or wished to become a scientist like in the movies, capable of analysing DNA? Or working on solutions to cure deadly diseases like Malaria?
It is not too late to make these dreams come true!

On 19-20 September join us, and make some experiments with real researchers! Here is your chance to get an answer to scientific questions you may have!
There are activities in a variety of scientific disciplines:
– “Dig into the past”: Run archaeological searches under the leadership of an archaeologist (placing the pits, digging, using the brush, measuring, and drawing the findings)
– “Biodiversity in space and time: a mountain adventure”: Learn about the Alpine biodiversity, and its geographical distribution from the lowlands to the mountain top. See digital simulations showing how biodiversity could change in the upcoming decades due to climate change.
– “Unveil the secrets of mother nature”: Extract DNA from plants, onions, and also from your own saliva! Children will be given a necklace with their own DNA.
– “Can I trust my senses?” Is it the sight, the smell or the taste that make you choose an olive oil? Are your senses tricking you? How do you perceive things? Learn more on sensory perception by tasting various samples of olive oil.
– “A journey in the past”: Watch a 3D virtual reconstruction of monuments that are still under the earth or that have now disappeared.
– “Understanding the transmission of Malaria from inside a mosquito!”: Look into a giant 3D mosquito to understand how it is infected by parasites carrying malaria. Don’t worry, you (probably) won’t get bitten!
– “Build a satellite”: Satellites play a crucial role in our daily lives from GPS, to agriculture. Learn how they function, and build a satellite model with the help of an expert!
Researchers will answer any questions you have on their field of research, and present their research projects.

Link para o grupo de investigação de Eleonora Aquilini


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