News / Health

Promising Mosquito Repellent Announced

Promising Mosquito Repellent Announcedi
X
January 03, 2014 5:08 PM
In many regions of the world, mosquitoes are a seasonal pest. In other regions, they carry serious diseases like malaria. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 630,000 people died of malaria-related causes in 2012, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, a group of U.S.-based scientists is working to develop a more effective and less expensive mosquito repellent than currently in use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
George Putic
In many regions of the world, mosquitoes are a seasonal pest. In other regions, they carry serious diseases like malaria. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 630,000 people died of malaria-related causes in 2012, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Now, a group of U.S.-based scientists is working to develop a more effective and less expensive mosquito repellent than currently in use.  
 
The research, at the University of California Riverside, is based on the fact that mosquitoes use the same receptor for detecting carbon dioxide in our breath as they do for the odor from our skin when they come closer. 
 
The lead investigator, Anandasankar Ray, says scientists tested more than a million chemical compounds until they found a substance called Ethyl pyruvate that shuts down the mosquitoes’ receptor.
 
“When we apply Ethyl pyruvate to a human arm and offer it to hungry mosquitoes in a cage, then very few of the mosquitoes are attracted to the human arm because only a few of them are able to smell it out," said Ray.
 
Genevieve Tauxe, also on the team, says finding the mosquito neurons that detect both our breath and skin odor was not easy. 
 
“With this apparatus, we are able to insert a very small electrode into the part of the mosquito's nose, effectively, where its olfactory neurons are and where the smell is happening," said Tauxe.
 
With these instruments, scientists were able to detect the signals that a mosquito’s neurons send to its brain when it senses attractive odors.  Spikes on the computer screen show when the attraction is strong or weak.
 
Ray says a repellent based on Ethyl pyruvate may be cheaper to manufacture than DEET, the most effective chemical now in use. He says it's too expensive for most people in malaria-affected areas.
 
"Perhaps by finding designer odors, better odors that can attack other target receptors, we will be able to improve upon DEET and finally have the next generation of insect behavior control product," he said.
 
The University of California scientists say they believe they will soon be able to find a way to manufacture cheaper and more effective repellents for the fight against mosquitoes.   
 

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid