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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service




High School Program Collaboration Inspires New and Experienced Researchers, June 2015

ARS is a breeding ground for new science and scientists. Massaro Ueti, Research Medical Veterinary Officer and Don Knowles, Research Leader at the USDA-Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, Washington, mentored two high school students, Hannah Guillien and Isabella Vacca, on a novel tick biology experiment that landed among the top 15 Animal Science projects in a national competition. The girls used a new tick in vitro feeding system developed by Ueti and Knowles to test if the natural herb, lavender repelled ticks. The artificial tick feeder provides a more controlled environment for research than animal models. The girl's lavender tests showed the herb was an effective tick repellent, and safer than chemicals. Along the way, the students inspired Ueti to improve the tick feeding system by using and perfecting more natural membranes.

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Last Modified: 12/20/2016
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