Two researchers at the University of Arizona are taking different approaches to the problem of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. Malaria, for example, kills 2 million people every year.
Dr. Michael Riehle has developed a strain of mosquitoes with decreased lifespans. In wild mosquitoes, the disease-carrying parasites find their way into the mosquito’s gut by way of one blood meal; they develop in the gut and make their way back to the mosquito’s mouth to be injected into the source of the next blood meal. The parasites require a certain amount of time to develop. If the mosquito’s lifespan is decreased sufficiently, the mosquito will die before the parasite has a chance to develop fully.
Dr. Roger L. Miesfeld has found a way to chemically block the female mosquito’s ability to digest its food. In his research, he has found that soon after taking in a blood meal she could not digest, the mosquito died. This research could lead to mosquito-specific pesticides as well as decreased mosquito populations.
There were supposed to be links to stories about Drs. Riehle and Miesfeld elsenet, but WordPress is not allowing me to add links by methods I’ve used successfully in previous posts. I will try to add them later. Links added.