Mosquitoes attract California researchers to Minnesota

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is apparently the perfect laboratory for testing insect repellant. This summer, some brave volunteers are helping researchers monitor mosquito bites.
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The Land of 10,000 Lakes is apparently the perfect laboratory for testing insect repellant. This summer, some brave volunteers are helping researchers monitor mosquito bites.

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Mosquito season peaking in Twin Cities

Good news: Summer is not even officially here yet, but mosquito season is already at its peak in the Twin Cities. Residents may find some relief in knowing the bug's numbers are expected to drop.

Rain, hot temperatures help double Minnesota mosquito population

Thanks to the second-wettest Minnesota June on record and hot temperatures this month, the mosquito population in the state has exploded. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District says a sampling of its 134 traps July 2 found an average of 1,425 adult mosquitoes per trap, more than double the average for the same date for the past nine years, which was 643 mosquitoes per trap.

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The Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus had not been found in Minnesota until recently. The virus can be fatal to humans, as well as wildlife. Its mortality leads one veterinarian to call it "the evil twin sister of West Nile Virus." Officials are studying whether the virus might be related to the disappearance of moose from the region.

Mayo researchers discover potential way to combat aging

Early tests on mice have scientists thinking that purging the body of what are known as "senescent cells" could help protect us from aging. But researchers will need to do much more work before they know whether drugs could be developed to help us live longer. Scientists say the discovery might be a "fundamental advance."

Experts: Expect fewer mosquitos this year

The dry fall and light snowfall have left less standing water, which means less breeding ground for the pest and, hopefully, fewer bites. But ticks, on the other hand, will probably be thriving.