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University of New Mexico Technology Effective, Environmentally Safe, for Killing Zika Mosquitoes

Researchers at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Global Health have developed an inexpensive, non-toxic method for killing the Aedes mosquito, responsible for carrying the Zika virus.  Zika virus outbreaks in South America are linked to a rise in microcephaly among babies born to women infected with the virus. Microcephaly refers to a neurological condition in which children have unusually small heads. In many cases it also means a baby’s brain is smaller and may not have developed properly.  The technology, developed by UNM faculty Dr. Ravi Durvasula, Dr. Scott Matthews and Dr. Ivy Hurwitz, is a method for combining yeast, the mosquito’s most desired food source, with lemon oil, a natural toxin to the mosquito.  The technology has proven to be remarkably effective in small-scale trials.  The inventors’ next goal is to test the technology in large-scale trials.  To find out more about this exciting discovery, see Chris Quintana’s February 18, 2016 article, “Low-cost method found at UNM battles Zika virus,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below, Matt Grub’s KRQE report, “UNM medical team uses ‘lemongrass bombs’ to kill Zika-carrying mosquitoes,” at http://krqe.com/2016/02/11/unm-medical-team-uses-lemongrass-bombs-to-kill-zika-carrying-mosquitoes/, and Eddie Garcia’s KOB report, “UNM developing lemongrass bomb to fight Zika,” at http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S4051257.shtml#.VsYtL-bVtRc.

Low-cost method found at UNM battles Zika virus