AC and City of Amarillo collaborate on mosquito project

A pair of Amarillo College students learned a great deal more about mosquitoes this summer.

They owe it all to the City of Amarillo, AC’s STEM Research Center and, reduction in local bus service.

Marcus Baber-Newton and Dustan Francis took part in a special research project in which the College and the City of Amarillo’s Environmental Health Department collaborated to discern if locally captured mosquitoes carried harmful diseases.

The students helped trap a quantity of insects at multiple city locations, learned how to classify and separate out the notorious, virus-transmitting female mosquitoes, processed them, and performed the necessary high-tech analyses.

Baber-Newton and Francis will publicly present “Presence of Vector-Borne Mosquito Viruses at noon on Friday, Sept. 2nd in the College Union Building’s Oak Room on the Washington Street Campus.

AC’s STEM faculty is looking closely at the possibility of entering into future collaborations with the City, including duplications of the study undertaken in June; for the Environmental Health Department would like to resume its traditional bi weekly virus testing protocols.

The availability of funding sources, laboratory time, and interested student volunteers will all be part of that particular equation moving forward.

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