OMG! Mosquito Birth Control

OMG, scientists have come up with a new approach to reduce the populations of mosquitoes without using pesticides.  One of the recent proposals was     wait for it … mosquito birth control! 

Yes, I’m not kidding.Mosquito Birth Control The idea is to allow the mosquitoes to continue to engage in all of their ordinary lifestyle choices, without the possibility of pregnancy.  Or, in this case, without the possibility of fertile eggs.

Making this an even more attractive option is that fact that female mosquitoes practice the ultimate form of monogamy.  They only mate once in a lifetime. 

Setbacks in Safe Sex

But still just as with humans, convincing mosquitoes to practice safe sex was challenging.  Public health agency arranged huge parties, with music, dancing and alluring female celebrity mosquitoes to convince male mosquitoes that protection made them irresistible.

Suave Male Mosquito with a Cocktail

“Hey, Beautiful, would you care for a drink?”

Unfortunately the males had a bit too much self-esteem for this strategy to work.  Positive that they were already irresistible, they demonstrated their prowess to the public health officials by shamelessly luring all of the female party-goers into the tall grass right at the edge of the stage.  OMG there is just nothing worse than a smug male mosquito!!!

Back at the drawing board, the scientists came up with a new idea.  What if they could neuter the males, like dogs and cats?  It might require some very tiny instruments and a lot of patience, but it might work. 

Well, what about birth control pills?  Great idea, but mosquitoes don’t understand the concept of a calendar, so they probably couldn’t take their pills on a schedule.

Breakthrough

But then there was a breakthrough.  A very carefully adjusted dose of radiation, prevented mosquitoes of the Anopheles species (the type that spreads malaria) from producing sperm!Scientist with test tubes and a bunsen burner Even better, since sperm production takes considerable amounts of energy, these male mosquitoes had more energy to work out and develop impressive mosquito muscles.   

The public health agency hosted another party, where they released great quantities of sterile males.  The brawny bruiser mosquitoes kicked sand into the eyes of the skinny little fertile males and swaggered off with all of the females clustered all around their hairy, insect legs.

What was the result?  Lots and lots of mosquito eggs.  But this time they were eggs that never hatched. 

Scientists in Africa and southeastern Asia are confronting a new problem now.  Word has spread through the Anopheles mosquito grapevine, and scientists are overwhelmed by young males begging to be included in the next study. 

OMG: Who says that science isn’t sexy?

This information was taken from Science Daily

Comments are closed.