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New finding may prevent mosquito-borne illness, death

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Every year, about a million people die from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and more than half a billion people are infected by mosquitoes. Now, researchers at the University of California, Riverside have discovered mosquito-blocking chemicals that may prevent these deaths and illnesses. Entomologist Anandansankar Ray says these chemicals work by blocking a carbon dioxide receptor, which helps mosquitoes ‘sniff' out humans.

Ray:              We are in the process of using these chemicals to create behavior disruption strategies that can block mosquitoes from finding human beings and in a way, help in blocking transmission of diseases by these mosquitoes. We have done this work in my lab, here in California, and part of the work has actually been done in Africa, in Kenya, where we were working in simulated environment — environments that simulate natural conditions.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.