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Mosquito Bot

Ebel Laboratory WNV research featured in Westword

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The Ebel laboratory’s research on West Nile virus (WNV) in crows was recently featured in Westword. The article addresses ongoing protests from PETA and emphasizes the involvement of CSU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which approves and creates humane protocols for all experimental procedures that are administered to the birds.

From the article: “What we’re trying to do is to understand at a really fundamental level how [WNV] works and why it works the way that it does,” [Ebel] says. “It’s basic science, but it’s the foundation of anything that we’re going to do ten years from now.”

With thanks to Westword reporter Hannah Gartner.

https://www.westword.com/news/peta-protesters-call-on-csu-to-end-experiment-involving-birds-11562694

 

Reyes Murrieta honored at 2019 SACNAS conference

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Ph.D. Candidate Reyes Murrieta was honored at the 2019 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM conference. He presented his research on the effect of extrinsic incubation temperature on Zika virus population genetics and won an award for his oral presentation in the category of Life Sciences (Ecology/Evolutionary Biology & Plant Sciences/Botany).

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded 82 underrepresented minority students at the conference for their scientific work and presentation skills.

Reyes has been with the Ebel lab since the summer of 2015. His research uses computational biology and experimental virology to study how different ecological and environmental conditions may impact Flavivirus population structure.

Pictured: Reyes Murrieta (left) at SACNAS 2019.

Pictured: Reyes Murrieta (left) at SACNAS 2019.

In memory of Renna

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Ebel lab alumni Dr. Joseph Fauver has been featured in the Omaha World-Herald after naming a newly-discovered virus in honor of his late canine companion, Renna. From the article:

A picture of Renna the dog.“As a graduate student at Colorado State University, Springfield native Joseph Fauver helped discover seven new kinds of mosquito viruses while researching the Zika virus in Mexico in 2016. When he and his girlfriend put their dog Renna to sleep last summer, the 28-year-old Washington University research scientist named one of those viruses in her honor.

“It’s the best scientific achievement I have,” Fauver said.”

Learn more about Renna by visiting the Good News section of the Omaha World-Herald. Dr. Fauver’s work on rRNA depletion is featured in the February 2019 issue of Virology. With thanks to World-Herald staff writer Chris Peters.

Dr. Alex Byas featured on KUNC

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Dr. Alex Byas’ work on Colorado tick fever and Powassan virus was featured on KUNC as part of a story by the Mountain West News Bureau (MWNB). Learn more about Colorado virus surveillance efforts and Byas’ “tick smithereens” by tuning into KUNC or visiting their website.

With thanks to MWNB reporter Rae Ellen Bichell.

http://www.kunc.org/post/rocky-mountains-have-ticks-scientists-want-know-what-viruses-they-re-carrying

Pictured: Dr. Alex Byas holding a tube of homogenized ticks. Photo by Rae Ellen Bichell.

Lexi Robison honored at 2018 CURC showcase

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Undergraduate research assistant Lexi Robison was honored for her work at the CSU CURC (Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity) research day. Her poster, ‘Chikungunya virus replication and transmission by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes decreases over time,” was awarded College Honors.

Lexi has been with the Ebel lab since January 2016, where she has worked under the mentorship of Dr. Claudia Rückert. Lexi has been involved with several projects examining CHIKV replication and transmission dynamics. She maintains the Ebel lab’s Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens colonies and has also worked on generating CRISPR/Cas9 constructs to knock out specific genes in mosquitoes.

Lexi is currently a junior in CSU’s Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology (MIP) program. She is majoring in microbiology.

Pictured: Dr. Claudia Rückert (left) and Lexi Robison. 

 

Pictured: Lexi Robison at CURC 2018. 

Xenosurveillance paper in ASTMH

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Dr. Joseph Fauver’s paper on xenosurveillance, a new method of disease surveillance that uses mosquitoes as sampling devices, has been published in ASTMH.

The Ebel lab and its collaborators have previously demonstrated that xenosurveillance can detect viral RNA in both laboratory and field settings; this new paper builds upon existing research and shows that xenosurveillance can 1) detect Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Zika virus, and 2) may be used as a tool to expand surveillance for parasitic and bacterial pathogens as well.

http://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0063

WNV evolution paper in Cell Reports

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Dr. Nathan Grubaugh’s paper, detailing how mosquitoes transmit unique West Nile virus populations during each feeding episode, has been published in Cell Reports. Highlights from the paper include the following findings:

• Distinct virus populations are largely shaped by genetic drift
• West Nile virus evolution is characterized by cycles of diversification and selection
• Individual mosquitoes can transmit distinct virus populations during each bloodmeal
• Strong selection in birds purges most nonsynonymous mutations

http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(17)30453-9