Research

Scientists have weaned mosquitoes to drink blood and spread diseases

Some species of mosquitoes actively spreada huge number of deadly diseases, among which are yellow fever and Zika virus. They are transferred between organisms while drinking blood, so the scientists decided to invent a method to control the appetite of dangerous bloodsuckers. They found out that the same receptor as that of people is responsible for the feeling of hunger, so they decided that human anesthetics could be used to solve the problem.

The study was conducted by a team of scientists underled by Laura Duvall, a professor at Rockefeller University. They were aware that when they are saturated with blood, female mosquitoes produce special molecules called neuropeptides. In mosquitoes, they activate neuroreceptors, which prevent the feeling of hunger until another blood dose is required.

The researchers wondered if they couldcontrol insect appetite with substances affecting neuroreceptors. There were many options to take them, but they settled on the simplest - the scientists decided to feed the mosquitoes with human medicine to suppress the appetite. The fact is that the same receptors are responsible for the hunger of people and mosquitoes.

To test the effect of drugs, researchersconducted an experiment. They took two groups of mosquitoes: the first one received medicine, and the second one did not. Placing them in one container with a live mouse, they found out that the first group practically did not touch the animal, and the second actively began to feed on its blood.

Spraying appetite-changing substances in the zoneHabitats of dangerous mosquitoes, scientists can stop the spread of disease. However, there is one problem - airborne substances can reduce even human appetite. To prevent this, scientists intend to create a substance that affects only the receptors that are present in mosquitoes.

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