Thursday, October 03, 2013

Science

This is a tsetse fly:



And this is a tsetse fly:
This fly seems to be prevalent in Africa, and causes a "sleeping sickness", or trypanosomiasis.

We in the States don't need to be worried about sleeping sickness, unless we are travelling to certain parts of Africa, where the tsetse fly lives and breeds and infects.  And then...it's a problem.

I knew very little about tsetse flies and trypanosomiasis until this month, when that Spouse o' Mine mentioned that he would be working through the weekend - something that only happens occasionally, and often when some research is getting involved, interesting, time-imperative.

Normally that Spouse o' Mine works with grains.  He is a scientist who comes up with instruments to test size (to the 100th mg), firmness, oil content, etc.  He has also developed instruments to test the damage of fruit in harvest and damage to human brains in impacts such as cycling accidents.

There are some folks in Austria who are doing research work in Africa, with tsetse flies.  They needed an instrument which can identify the sex of flies.  That's where that Spouse o' Mine comes in.  The Austrians sent him a collection of tsetse fly eggs several weeks ago.  (Let's not panic; they are in a secure and controlled environment, so much so that he wouldn't even allow me, his wife! into the lab where he is working with them.  I just wanted to have a look-see.)

Well.  Apparently this research may be a wash, in view of his Compulsory Unpaid Leave this week.  The tsetse flies are due to hatch today, and must be tested within the next couple of days.  This is very frustrating for that Spouse o' Mine, who is locked out of his lab until Congress can get its act together.

He is only one of thousands who are looking at their work and their time-sensitive research projects falling by the wayside.

On a lighter note, what is that Spouse o' Mine doing while he waits?

Painting the house!  With Martin the Helper!







1 comment:

Gill said...

I love those photos!

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