THE POETRY OF SCIENCE – EPISODE 6: Daylight Transmission

Recent research has shown that across Africa a higher percentage of mosquito bites than previously thought take place at times when people are not protected by nets and insecticide.

This episode explores this research and what it means for the global battle against malaria. 

Read this episode’s science poem

You sleep beneath a throbbing blanket,
A whining drone that cuts through the night
Like a monotonous call to prayer;
Serrated sounds that test the edges
Of your chemically-reinforced cocoon.
Draped in treated fabric you drift restlessly;
Your dreams a kaleidoscope of apprehensions,
Where walls run red with shattered husks,
Their swollen bellies gorged on speedballs
Of honeydew, blood, and DDT.

In the morning you check your cotton cage for holes,
Shifting silently beneath the sheets
As you perform these daylight inspections
Like a hushed and fading holy rite.
Creeping from beneath your net
You throw open the door and sunlight cuts
Thorough the residual creases of night.
A breath of cool air that casts out the shadows
Forcing them onto the streets,
Where they wait for you to pass.

By Dr Sam Illingworth

External Resources

Read the scientific study that inspired it here.

The Poetry of Science blog.

The original episode appeared here.

Go back to The Poetry of Science

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