September 27, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

Deafened mosquitoes can no longer mate, and researchers see a way to ensure this

Deafened mosquitoes can no longer mate, and researchers see a way to ensure this

Besides being a sworn enemy to many people, the mosquito is also an interesting and powerful creature. For example, a male can find a suitable partner mainly by ear in a swarm of thousands upon thousands of his hummingbird congeners. How it does this, researchers from University College London and the University of Oldenburg wanted to know. Can it be prevented?

They focused on the malaria mosquito, which transmits the disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. They saw how the males, only when everyone had gathered in a swarm, managed to find the females. They flap their wings at a different frequency than the men, and the men hear the difference by raising their ears. This was accompanied by a peak in the signals from the octopamine molecule in the male body. Further investigation showed that the objects are needed to find the female by ear.

Let it be that this is precisely a molecular process that some existing pesticides are already hampering. They are not used against mosquitoes, but against ticks and mites. The first test was encouraging for the researchers. Mite venom caused an imbalance of octopamine in male mosquitoes.

Therefore, it is expected that such insecticides will hinder the reproduction of mosquitoes. Empirical research should show the extent of this inconvenience. But any additional tool in the fight against malaria mosquitoes and other diseases such as dengue or yellow fever is most welcome. Mosquito resistance to existing insecticides is increasing rapidly.

Search appeared in the journal Nature Communications.

Read also:

There is a glimmer of hope: a malaria vaccine is a step closer

It has gotten far less attention than corona vaccines, but in recent years, the good news about the development of malaria vaccines has started pouring in. 2022 saw another series of major and minor milestones.

See also  Overthinking makes language learning more difficult