Questions for ‘Cool Jobs: Sucking up science with mosquitoes’


Too many mosquitoes might send some people running the opposite direction. But these scientists get close — to learn more about them.


To accompany feature “Cool Jobs: Sucking up science with mosquitoes”


Before Reading

1.  Do you live in a place where there are many mosquitoes? Do you tend to get lots of mosquito bites — or just a few? When are you more likely to be bitten?

2.  Mosquitoes are known to transmit diseases. Name several such diseases and describe their symptoms.

During Reading:

1.  What types of animals can provide food for mosquitoes?

2.  Name five diseases that mosquitoes can transmit.

3.  What does it mean for a mosquito to be cold-blooded?

4.  How does a mosquito get rid of some of the heat from the warm blood on which it’s been feeding?

5.  How are mosquitoes both predators and prey?

6.  What is dopamine?

7.  Through what substance do mosquitoes transmit disease to the person they bite?

8.  What is the difference between “continuous pumping” and a “burst event”?

9.  Why were researchers on Brian Foy’s team banned from using mosquito repellent?

10.  Why might it be useful to be able to track human diseases through mosquitoes instead of by getting blood samples from people?

After Reading

1.  Mosquito researchers have received plenty of mosquito bites as part of their research. Some have even contracted mosquito-borne diseases. They do this in their pursuit of knowledge. Is it worth it? Would you risk such bites or diseases? Explain your answers, referencing evidence you picked up from the story.

2.  In a group, research ways to stop the spread of mosquitoes. What can you do in your home, school or neighborhood to prevent their spread?