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See how close you can squeeze mosquitoes without killing them

GIF: Julia Vulcan, New Mexico State University Many more deadly than sharks, wolves, bears or other captured animals are the…

GIF: Julia Vulcan, New Mexico State University

Many more deadly than sharks, wolves, bears or other captured animals are the little mosquito, titled to the world’s deadliest animals. The World Health Organization estimates that millions of people die each year from mosquito-borne diseases. Thankfully, researchers have come up with a strategy to significantly reduce the mosquito population, but it requires sending tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes to different parts of the world, often via mail.

You may assume you would need a quite large package to send these thousands of mosquitoes. But a new study has found that you can actually compress these pests into a ridiculously small space, and they will continue to live. They will also survive the journey better than loosely packed mosquitos.

How small? Well, according to the researchers behind the new study, published on Wednesday in the Journal of Insect Science, the magic is somewhere around 240 mosquitoes per cubic centimeter. It corresponds to about 1

200 mosquitos in a teaspoon, and up to 2500 in a 10 milliliter syringe. Another way of forming it: There are 7,200 live mosquitoes packed in a 1 ounce shot glass.

The team, led by researchers from New Mexico State University, came to this calculation after carrying out a series of laboratories and real experiments, including sending the insects through overnight mail. They hoped to figure out the best way to use these annoying blood suckers to save lives.

In the 1950s, researchers designed a smart way to eradicate hazardous insects without using pesticides called sterile insect technology. You basically grow a giant population of male insects in the lab and sterilize them without damaging them otherwise. Then you drop them into nature and hope they will grow with the fees. With the time that the intact men are cramped out of the mating game and the females lay eggs that never reach maturity, the whole population is decreasing.

The first insect that this attempted was with great success was the skierormormen. Since then, the technique has been used to eradicate populations of different fruitflies and malts. And nowadays researchers, including researchers behind the latest study, are testing whether it can work for the deadliest animal around the mosquito.

However, according to senior researcher Immo Hansen, the technique is used on mosquitoes more

A late-as-hell male Aedes aegypti mosquito. Photo: Geoffrey M. Attardo, University of California, Davis (Journal of Insect Science)

“Male mosquitos are really lazy. They do not like to fly a lot,” said Hansen to Gizmodo. “Over a lifetime, they will fly up to 100 meters, 200 meters, but no more. “

Because of this lath, extinction campaigns must get the sterile mosquitoes as close to the action as possible. Using airdrives can help, but we still need to make sure they are stored, packed and released safely without inadvertently killing them or suffering them.

So Hansen and his team conducted experiments in the lab, hoping to find the ideal delivery conditions for the mosquitoes. They tested a variety of temperatures to keep the insects sluggish. They also tested how close they could pack mosquitoes in different spray sizes. Then they took things a step further and sent thousands of bugs from New Mexico to their colleagues at the University of California, Davis. 19659003] The mosquitoes were generally good at keeping cold in a wide temperature range, but 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) seemed ideal. And in the lab, it did not appear that there was a big difference in survival rates as to how closely packed they were. But things changed in the live test.

“It turns out that the highly compressed mosquitoes survived the trip better than the loose packed,” says Hansen. “We think this is because the vibrations in the planet damaged the loosely packed mosquitoes.”

The team is now planning to test its theory that vibration causes more deaths in the loosely packed groups. They also hope to perform live trials of delivered mosquitoes to ensure that the tight arrangements do not hug the mowing force of the mosquito.

“We will work with our physics lab here in New Mexico State because they have vibration tables that they use to make the vibration vibrant,” says Hansen.

And if you wonder, yes, it’s quite legal to Send mosquitoes (and other bugs) via the US Postal Service, as long as you follow their rules.

[Journal of Insect Science]

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Faela