Afraid of Spiders? Maybe Spiderman Can Help

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"xIMG_6547" by platycryptus is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0
Yaakov Hoffman, PhD.
Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences
Max & Anna Webb St. Ramat-Gan, Israel, 5290002

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Foundation: This study was conceptualized during a conversation we had, namely, Dr. Yaakov Hoffman, Interdisciplinary department of social sciences, Bar Ilan University, and Professor Menachem Ben-Ezra School of Social Work, Ariel University, following the release of the Antman movie. We are both psychologists who are also avid Marvel  superhero fans. In this meaningful conversation we discussed the issue of fear of insects which led to the idea that positive exposure to phobic stimuli (exposure to spider or ants) within the context of Marvel superheroes will lead to robust reduction in phobic symptoms. As most of the conventional treatments for specific phobias use exposure to the phobic stimuli in neutral contexts, we thought that framing the exposure in a positive fun, albeit fantasy context would yield robust results, as well as perhaps reducing stigma.

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Why Are Some Homes Prone to Cockroach Infestation?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Cockroaches at night" by Sigurd Tao Lyngse is licensed under CC BY 2.0Changlu Wang, PhD

The Urban Entomology lab
Department of Entomology
Rutgers University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Cockroaches are an important public health pest. They carry pathogens and produce allergens which causes asthma. Some residential communities always have chronic cockroach infestations.

This study is designed to understand the environmental and behavioral factors associated with cockroaches in low-income homes occupied by senior citizens. We found 30% of the 388 surveyed homes had German cockroaches. Sanitation and residents’ tolerance are two factors significantly associated with the presence of cockroaches. A dirty apartment is 2.7 times more likely to have German cockroaches. Gender, ethnicity, and clutter level are not associated with presence of cockroaches. People would be bothered by cockroaches when more than 3 cockroaches are caught in sticky traps when 4 traps were placed per apartment over 2 weeks period.

A high percentage (36%) of residents were unaware of cockroaches when they were caught in traps in their homes. These findings are important for property managers and policy makers in designing better intervention methods to reduce the cockroach infestations.  Continue reading

New Strategy for Malaria Control Uses Non-Toxic Steroid Agonists

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Flaminia-Catteruccia.jpg

Dr. Catteruccia

Flaminia Catteruccia PhD
Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mosquito control via lethal insecticides is a key method for reduction of malaria transmission. As insecticide resistance is spreading, new intervention methods are urgent. Our study demonstrates that studies on mosquito biology can provide novel, much needed tools for malaria control. We show how key aspects of mosquito physiology and Plasmodium development can be significantly disrupted in the female Anopheles mosquito by agonists of the insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Modeling of the data predicts that the integration of 20E agonists in malaria control programs would significantly reduce malaria prevalence to a similar extent as insecticides, but without imposing severe costs to mosquito populations

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Inflammation Caused By Mosquito Bites Helps Viral Infections Spread

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Clive McKimmie PhD
Research Fellow,
Virus Host Interaction Team (VHIT),
University of Leeds
St James’ University Hospital
Leeds UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: With the rapid spread of Zika in the Americas, attention has been drawn to this group of neglected mosquito-borne viral infections. The Zika virus is not alone in causing problems, others such as dengue and chikungunya viruses are infecting millions of people each year. Yet there’s little doctors can do to help people who get sick.
When mosquitoes bite you they can transmit these disease causing viruses. We don’t understand what happens during the early stages of infection very well. However, it is known that the mosquito bite itself somehow helps the virus to infect your body.

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