Scientists Uncover Mystery of Mosquito Flight
The mosquito is a troublesome and sometimes dangerous insect. Their bites itch and can carry dangerous diseases, like malaria, Zika virus and yellow fever.
Recently, researchers from Britain and Japan discovered how mosquitoes fly. This knowledge, they say, help find ways to stop mosquitoes from spreading diseases in the future.
Mosquito wings are small and have an uncommon shape. Because of this, it is hard to believe that they are able to fly. So, how is their flight possible?
The team of scientists from Britain and Japan solved the mystery. They used high-speed cameras and computer images to understand the mechanics of how the insect moves its wings to stay in the air.
Researchers at the University of Oxford took images of mosquito wing movements. They set up eight super-high speed cameras that take 10,000 images each second.
Simon Walker is a researcher at the University of Oxford.
"So normally to record an insect you need at least two cameras, ideally more, so you've got enough views of an insect because with two camera views you can then take any point on an insect and calculate its 3-D coordinates."
The insect has two antennae, or tall, thin organs on its head that it uses to feel things. But its antennae and six legs make it difficult to take clear images of the wing movements. So, the team needed to use eight cameras to view the wings from many directions.
The extra cameras let the researchers see that the mosquito's wings move eight hundred times each second. That is four times faster than many insects of a similar size.
Mosquitoes fly by moving their wings in several different directions.
The thin top edges of their wings move forward first and then they reverse direction and move down. The movement looks almost as if the wings are drawing the number eight.
The research team believes the mosquitoes' wing movements could help inventors design new flying devices.
Walker says that existing unmanned flying devices – or drones – do not work very well outside because wind can affect their flight.
"Insects, on the other hand, deal really, really well with even quite windy conditions. So understanding how they can do this is going to be advantageous to us in the future."
These researchers say that, more importantly, understanding how mosquitoes fly might help find ways to stop them from spreading diseases.
I'm Alice Bryant.
1.flying devices 飞行设备
More bug-like flying devices are being developed in other research laboratories around the world.
2.move forward 向前移动
The only way we can move forward is to have an open and honest dialogue about race and discrimination.
3.yellow fever 黄热病
He explained the yellow fever epidemic as a providential act to discourage urban growth.
4.move down 下移；后退
When you drop from a standing position into a squat, your hips move down while your knees move sideways.
1.So understanding how they can do this is going to be advantageous to us in the future."
be advantageous to 有利于
This will be advantageous to our task of building a powerful socialist country.
They may believe that a response from us in one fashion or another would be advantageous to them.
2."Insects, on the other hand, deal really, really well with even quite windy conditions.
on the other hand 另一方面
On the other hand, the idea appealed to him
On the one hand, they wanted very much to visit their squad leader in hospital; on the other hand, they didn't want to disturb his rest.
蚊子是一种令人苦恼的、甚至具有危险性的昆虫 。它们的叮咬会使人觉得瘙痒而且蚊子可能携带危险疾病，如疟疾、寨卡病毒和黄热病 。
近日，英国和日本的研究人员揭开了蚊子的飞行之谜 。他们说，这些知识将来或有助于发现阻止蚊子传播疾病的方法 。
蚊子翅膀短小，形状不一 。鉴于此，人们很难相信蚊子能够飞行 。那么，他们是如何飞行的呢？
英国和日本的科学家小组揭开了这一谜团 。他们利用高速摄影机和电脑图像观察昆虫如何扇动翅膀保持空中停留的力学原理 。
牛津大学的研究人员拍下了蚊子翅膀扇动的图像 。他们设置了8架超高速相机，这些相机每秒可拍摄10000帧图像 。
西蒙·沃克（Simon Walker）是牛津大学的研究员 。
蚊子头上的两个高而薄的触须就是用来感知事物的器官 。不过蚊子的触须和六条腿会妨碍拍摄翅膀扇动图像的清晰度 。因此，研究团队需要8架摄像机进行多方位观察 。
多余的相机能够让研究人员看到蚊子翅膀每秒扇动800次的影像 。这比同等身形昆虫的速度快4倍 。
蚊子翅膀顶部的薄边缘先向前移动，然后反方向并向下移动 。翅膀扇动的幅度像是在画数字8 。
“再者，即使在风力强劲的情况下，昆虫也能平稳地飞行 。因此，了解它们的飞行原理对未来的研发十分有利 。”