Narrator: This is Science Today. Insect repellent and trap markets will benefit from new technology developed by the University of California, Riverside. Entomologist Anandasankar Ray based his research on previous studies in which fruit flies used their sense of smell to detect carbon dioxide from ripening fruit. Blood feeding mosquitoes and black flies are also drawn to carbon dioxide, which is emitted by the breath of animals and human beings.
Ray: Now, what we have found is that some of these odors that inhibit the carbon dioxide detection machinery in the fruit fly, can also inhibit the carbon dioxide detection machinery in the Culex mosquito, which spreads West Nile viruses, as well as filariasis So, this gives us an opportunity to design new classes of insect repellents and masking agents, which can protect human beings from contact with these disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Narrator: In fact, the novel technology has been patented and licensed to a commercial company. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.