Happy Sunday – and welcome to the best of The Conversation.

Here is one of our recently published stories:

It’s finally summer. The pleasures of the season are here for the taking – my family is partial to hiking, kayaking and dining outdoors.

It’s all good except for tiny flying insects that bite. Flies and gnats are no fun, but mosquitoes are the worst of the bunch, because they spread disease as well as misery.

So I’m grateful for the research of Immo Hansen, Hailey Luker and their colleagues at the New Mexico State University Molecular Vector Physiology Laboratory who have have studied different types of mosquito repellents and their efficacy for over a decade.

Among other techniques, the scientists recruit volunteers to slather up with a mosquito-repelling cream or spray, stick their treated arm into a cage with 25 mosquitoes and wait for the first mosquito bite. As they explain in one of our readers’ picks last week, they’ve learned a lot about what treatments actually work – and which ones are a waste of money.

Later this week, we’ll bring you a professor of feminist philosophy writing about the "Barbie" movie, how exercise affects weight loss and affirmative action in Brazil.

Emily Costello

Director of Collaborations + Local News

Readers' picks

A group of Anopheles mosquitoes taking a blood meal in an experiment conducted by the New Mexico State University Molecular Vector Physiology Lab. Hansen MVP lab

Not all repellents are equal – here’s how to avoid mosquito bites this summer

Immo A. Hansen, New Mexico State University; Hailey A. Luker, New Mexico State University

Two mosquito physiology experts explain which repellents work better than others and how to protect yourself this summer.

Editors' picks

The progestin-only pill Opill could be available in early 2024. Kwangmoozaa/iStock via Getty Images

FDA approves first daily over-the-counter birth control pill, Opill – a pharmacist and public health expert explain this new era in contraception

Lucas Berenbrok, University of Pittsburgh; Marian Jarlenski, University of Pittsburgh

With the approval of the first over-the-counter oral contraceptive, pharmacists stand to play an ever-increasing role in helping expand access to reproductive health care in the post-Roe era.

News Quiz 🧠

  • The Conversation U.S. weekly news quiz

    Test your knowledge with a weekly quiz drawn from some of our favorite stories. Questions this week on the NATO summit, dam removals, political insults, and a surprising fact about college dropouts.

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