Insects in the News #22

Several new papers came out in the New Public Library of Science (PLOS) Neglected Diseases Journal:

New approach to treating Chagas Disease

I’ve been meaning to write about Chagas for a while; this study reports molecular work on possible drug targets. Chagas is transmitted by a true bug, usually genus Triatoma.
Full paper: Perturbation of the Dimer Interface of Triosephosphate Isomerase and its Effect on Trypanosoma cruzi

Leishmaniasis increases in Somalia

The visceral form of this disease (transmitted by sand flies) is on the increase in this country :(
Full paper: Epidemiology and Clinical Features of Patients with Visceral Leishmaniasis Treated by an MSF Clinic in Bakool Region, Somalia, 2004–2006

Mass drug treatment for Elephantiasis possible

This disease, also vectored by insects, could potentially be eradicated with a once yearly treatment, according to a new study looking at the economics of treatment.
Full paper: Perturbation of the Dimer Interface of Triosephosphate Isomerase and its Effect on Trypanosoma cruzi

And, on a more trivial news note (unless you grow potatoes):

Insects cause “zebra” potato chips

Psyllid feeding is associated with damage that is visible when a potato turns into a chip.