FROM THE FIELD: ‘Major breakthrough’ in fight against diseases spread by mosquitos
The UN nuclear agency (IAEA) has announced a major breakthrough in the bid to scale up technology designed to suppress disease-carrying mosquitos, and bring dengue, yellow fever and Zika under control.
A study has shown that the use of a specialized drone, developed by IAEA and partners, to release tens of thousands of male mosquitoes, sterilized by using radiation, is effective: many of the sterilized males mate with females, who then produce no offspring, reducing the mosquito population over time.
The drones are cheaper than manual ground releases, and cover a much wider area, leading to hopes of a reduction in mosquito-borne diseases almost anywhere: a smaller, lighter version of the drone designed to meet stringent regulations for flights over urban areas, is also being developed.
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