Technology August 27, 2011
Hitting Mosquitoes Where it Hurts: In the Gonads

Scientists have a new way of combating Dengue fever - and if you've ever had a mosquito buzzing in your ear when you're trying to sleep, it's pretty satisfying. Basically, experimenters have infected them with a bacterial parasite that attacks ... the gonads.

The parasite leaves the mosquitoes alive, but blocks the Dengue infection, preventing them from spreading it to humans. When they mate, their offspring survive, but are also infected with the dengue-blocking bacteria.

In one study, an Australian town's entire mosquito population ended up with the Dengue-blocking parasite. Scientists aren't sure if the method will protect human beings from Dengue fever in the long term. But for now, it's enough to know that someone is working hard at hitting mosquitoes in the gonads.



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