Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

is the new name of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

No Flowers Please
22 July 2017

No Flowers Please

These charming yellow flowers belong to a thorny shrub known as Prosopis juliflora, commonly known as mesquite. Its hardiness and drought tolerance mean that it has quickly become an invasive and unwanted weed in many parts of the world. As well as being a problem for gardeners and farmers, the plant’s flowers bring a problem of their own: they provide sugary nectar that insects love to drink, including mosquitoes infected with the parasite that causes malaria. Scientists working in Mali, West Africa, have done a simple but ingenious experiment to see whether cutting off the bright mesquite flowers can cut down the numbers of their mosquito feeders too. They found a big drop in mosquito populations in areas where the shrubs had been cut, especially in the numbers of blood-sucking females that carry the malaria parasite, showing that simply pruning these bushes could make a major difference to malaria transmission.

Written by Kat Arney

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More