Author Archives: britdodson

About britdodson

Over several years as a research scientist, I’ve realized that we fail to communicate research in fun and exciting ways. We’re often misquoted, not due to journalist errors, but because our scientific language is complicated and riddled with jargon. I want to improve my communication abilities with this blog by using techniques from creative writing and applying them to nonfiction scientific writing. But, in order to be skilled at writing one must practice (so says writers like Stephen King). This blog will serve as my first venture into science writing. I'm very passionate about entomology, infectious diseases and human health, so my posts will initially focus on those topics.

Ecology Seminar today

Today the ecology department is hosting a seminar that I thought some CIDD grads would be interested in entitled “Mosquito Population Dynamics in a Rapidly Changing Arctic” by Dr. Lauren Culler (Dartmouth College). The seminar will be in 106 Forest Resources Bldg … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Ag scientists + Mosquitologists = Collaboration!?

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Why grad students go beyond research

…and love it!

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Could bugs fuel your car?

Last week, Penn State entomology graduate students met for journal club and Loren Rivera-Vega led a discussion about a possible alternative form of fuel: insects!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

How do insects survive without a balanced diet?

As kids, we were taught the importance of a balanced diet with colorful food pyramids published by the USDA and now a plate is used to illustrate five major groups. But the message is still the same: variety. We get … Continue reading

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Hitchhiking bot fly babies

You may have heard of the cute and fuzzy botfly, whose larvae take up temporary residence inside mammals while they develop and eat living tissue (called myiasis). In humans, these larvae typically develop underneath the skin, forming a lump that … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Why do bad science articles rise from the dead?

Last week I posted this article, discussing bad information circulating about the Gardasil vaccine. I wondered why this misinformation has persisted, especially considering it has been five years since the original damning articles, and the CDC has proven vaccine safety … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Just what we needed…another tick-borne pathogen

A new type of phlebovirus was discovered in several Missouri men in 2009 and named Heartland virus. The virus is suspected to spread from infected Lone star ticks to humans. Today I came across a recent CDC report of several other … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The Vaccine Games: Catching Myths

Last week, one of my friends posted this article on Facebook that started a lengthy discussion about safety of the Gardasil vaccine. Gardasil prevents several types of cancer and genital warts caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). I know … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Meet Chikungunya: One Twisted Virus.

Perform an internet search for “Chikungunya” and you’ll find numerous recent articles. Here’s a summary of the situation and why you should care.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment