"The summer after my freshman year, I remember I was processing deer mice in an old garage in Nebraska where I was assisting with field work during my internship at Harvard University," said Xu. "I looked around and saw there were spider webs clinging everywhere. After a year of working with eDNA in Dr. Lodge’s lab at Notre Dame, I thought to myself, 'If you can find DNA of fish in the water it's swimming in, there has to be DNA of spiders and maybe even their dinner on spider webs.'"
New research from the University of Notre Dame will be used to generate maps that provide time-sensitive, mosquito-to-human ratios that determine patterns of mosquito population dynamics for the Zika virus. The model outputs will be available online to provide users with the ability to find reported cases and estimated incidences by location of the virus to improve disease transmission and prevalence forecasts, which is critical to making accurate predictions and translating results into effective public health strategies.
Scientists have observed three species of wasps evolving into three new species, an intriguing case of rapid evolution in action. Understanding how new species form, a process termed “speciation,” is a central question in biology. Scientists typically study speciation with respect to how populations of a single species diverge to form two distinct species.