Scientists from eight countries developed and tested in real conditions drone to release sterile male mosquitoes — they compete for females with the usual mosquitos and soon the mosquito population in the area is significantly reduced. The drone contains a container, designed for several tens of thousands of mosquitoes, and metered release system, do not injure the insect. The experiments showed that the discharge from a height allows you to evenly and more effectively distribute mosquitoes in area than the release land, say the authors of the article in Science is Robotics.
About 17 percent of infectious diseases in the world is necessary for vector-borne disease that is transmitted to humans through blood-sucking vectors. Many of these diseases, including malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus, and zika virus are carried by mosquitoes. Scientists are trying to overcome these illnesses in two ways: pharmacological methods aimed at human development of vaccines and medicines, as well as methods of control of vector populations.
One of the most promising examples of the second type is the sterile insect technique. It lies in the fact that scientists in the lab are sterilized using ionizing radiation many males mosquitoes of a certain kind, and then release them in nature, mixing with the natural population. Then the sterilized males mate with the fertile females, and thus do not allow them to leave more offspring, resulting in an overall decline in the population over time.
One of the main disadvantages of this method is that mosquitoes need to distribute over a large area, and distribute evenly. Scientists led by Jeremy Buje (Jérémy Bouyer) from Montpellier University have created a drone that is able to automatically carry the sterilized mosquito to a relatively large area. The studies were conducted in two locations: testing in the laboratory in the Austrian Seibersdorf and field testing at the Brazilian village of Carnaiba-pre-Sertao, from which the authors selected individuals aegypti mosquito (Aedes aegypti).
About mosquitoes, the researchers used a standard approach: they were bred, and then separated males due to megalofonou difference in size in this species, sterilized using ionizing radiation, as well as tagged with fluorescent dye to monitor. The main innovation of the study is to provide a device for air relief from the drone.