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July 31, 2020

Weekend reads: Why some mosquitoes have a special taste for human blood

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    This woman was hospitalized for Covid-19 and found her long-lost sister. Doris Crippen, 73, and Bev Boro, 53, hadn't seen each other in over 50 years, as they had spent their childhoods in separate foster homes in Nebraska. But Crippen and Boro were reunited after Crippen was hospitalized with Covid-19 and sent to a rehabilitation center—where Boro worked as a medication aide, the Washington Post's Sydney Page writes.

    The Earth has gone seismically quiet. Lockdowns and business closures aimed at stemming the novel coronavirus' spread have had an interesting side effect: They've led to significant reductions in seismic activity, as people are traveling less and staying home more. Writing for the New York Times, William Broad outlines research done by a team of 76 scientists who found that seismic activity has dropped by up to 50% since the global coronavirus pandemic's start, and he digs into how that research highlights the impact human activity has on the Earth.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    How did North Korea get the coronavirus? After news that North Korea might have its first coronavirus case, the country declared a national emergency and established a full lockdown of the city of Kaesong, which is right next to the country's fortified border. The country's officials have said a North Korean man who defected to South Korea in 2017 might have brought the virus into North Korea upon his return to the country this month.

    Why some mosquitos specifically love human blood. While most mosquitos bite all types of animals, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries viruses like Dengue and Zika, developed a specific taste for human blood over time. Now, researchers are finding that the reason these mosquitos prefer to bite humans could be due to one human behavior.

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