Indian-origin led team makes cocktail against mosquitoes

June 2nd, 2011 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 2 (IANS) Mosquito bites could soon become a fading memory, thanks to a chemical cocktail made by a team led by an Indian-origin scientist to buzz off the pesky insects.

Scientists, led by Anandasankar Ray of the University of California-Riverside, have concocted a gas that swamps the mosquito’s senses, making it impossible for them to sniff out human blood.

The breakthrough could lead to new repellent lotions and sprays, as well as gadgets designed to keep mosquitoes away from humans, the journal Nature reports.

The discovery would also help in providing protection against malaria, and other topical ills such as dengue and yellow fevers, according to the Daily Mail.

Mosquitoes transmit deadly diseases to more than half a million people a year and cause millions of deaths around the world.

US scientists described creating cocktails of chemicals that fox the tiny sensors that mosquitoes rely on to pick up traces of carbon dioxide and home in on their unwitting preys.

Ray said: “These chemicals offer powerful advantages as potential tools for reducing mosquito to human contact, and can lead to the development of new generations of insect repellents and lures.”

“The identification of such molecules, which can work at extremely low concentrations and are therefore economical, could be enormously effective in compromising the ability of mosquitoes to seek humans, thus helping control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.”

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