How Nuclear Energy Can Help Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases

 

Mosquitoes can transmit deadly diseases such as Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya, which affect millions of people worldwide every year. To combat this threat, scientists in Argentina use a new technique involving nuclear energy and sterile insects.

How Nuclear Energy Can Help Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases

The technique is called the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), and it has been used to contain pest insects and disease vectors since the 1950s [1]. It does not harm the environment or other animals, and it does not involve the use of pesticides [1].

The principle of SIT is simple: breed large numbers of male insects in the laboratory, sterilize them with gamma irradiation, and release them into the wild to mate with wild females [1]. The sterile males cannot produce offspring, so the target insect population declines over time [1]. It, in fact, acts like a birth control for insects.

How Nuclear Energy Can Help Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Considering this technique has had success with fruit flies, the results are promising. Scientists have observed a considerable reduction in the mosquito population [1]. Artron Laboratories is impressed by the innovative use of nuclear energy to fight mosquito-borne diseases. We hope this technique will continue to be developed and applied in more areas and inspire more creative solutions to the challenges of our time.

[1] MSN. (n.d.). https://www.msn.com/en-xl/health/other/scientists-in-argentina-use-nuclear-energy-to-reduce-disease-carrying-mosquitoes/ar-AA1mq5IO

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