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Bloodless coup

Diné researcher helps develop synthetic food for mosquitoes

WINDOW ROCK

Courtesy photo

Kristina Gonzales-Wartz

Growing up, Kristina Gonzales-Wartz didn’t expect that one day she would be a scientist.

She played volleyball and expected to become either an athletic trainer or physical therapist.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be a scientist but I was always interested in science,” she said. “It was just the excitement of science.”

As a student at Red Mesa High School, she took all the science classes she could — which was only one.

“We didn’t really have a lot of science classes,” Gonzales-Wartz remembered.

“The only class we had was biology and I was in advanced placement. I looked forward to that class. It was the only one that was different from math and English.”

She recently helped to create “SkitoSnack,” an artificial blood meal replacement that feeds mosquitos.

This is important for scientists who do research on mosquito-borne diseases or those who study the physiology of mosquitos, like the lab Gonzales-Wartz worked in as an intern.


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About The Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah