The Mosquito

Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies, in fact the word “mosquito” is Spanish for “little fly”.

Mosquitoes feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, mainly mammals.  However, some mosquitoes also attack invertebrates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some kinds of fish. Although the loss of blood is seldom of any importance to the victim, the saliva of the mosquito often causes a nasty irritation that we call a bite.

However, it can be much more serious.  Many species of mosquitoes act as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.

The Power of a Smile



The power of a smile.
Smile! It makes people wonder what you’ve been up to.

When I was a child, I always wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to save the world and make everyone happy, but I knew that I’d need superpowers to make my dreams come true. So I used to embark on these imaginary journeys to find intergalactic objects from planet Krypton, which was a lot of fun, but didn’t yield much in the way of results. When I grew up and realised that science fiction was not a good source for superpowers, I decided instead to embark on a journey of real science, to find a more useful truth.

The Power of Colour



Colour is a powerful thing, and it often lies at the heart of our perception of the world. Colours help us identify specific objects and associate properties to them. Colours also help us interpret emotions and recognise real world threats. However, an interesting question is where did this sense of colour come from?

How we see in colour

It all starts with your eyes.  Unlike many other living animals, human eyes are designed to interpret a wide range of light wavelengths which helps us identify colours. On a technical level, colours are simply different spectrums of wavelengths either travelling faster or slower towards our eyes and into our brain. We are good at it, but before you get big headed, we aren’t the best at interpreting colours: Many animals have a colour perception ability that is far beyond our comprehension, for example, the Mantis Shrimp:  Believe it or not the mantis shrimp has 4 times better colour vision than humans do.


You might have seen a rainbow, that arch of colours visible in the sky, but do you know what it is?

What is a rainbow?

A rainbow appears when sunlight and water meet. They are caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere. Rainbows can be seen not just when it’s raining but also on misty or foggy days, in the spray of a waterfall, and even in dew, basically they can appear whenever there are water droplets in the air and there is sunlight shining from behind at the right angle.  It’s called light refraction, and on a sunny day, with a hosepipe, you can even create your own rainbow in the garden.