Indian scientists develop cheaper, safer way to contain dengue, malaria
Researchers from Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) have found a cheap and easy way to control mosquitoes — with the help of carbon nano-particles.
The scientists claim that by adding a small quantity of water-soluble carbon nano particles – around 3 milligram per litre —mosquitoes will die within a few weeks and it destroys larvae as well. The study was published in the UK journal Royal Society of Chemistry two days ago. The preparation of water-soluble carbon nano particles has been patented in the US by the researchers.
“It is much cheaper and safer than the hazardous chemical sprays,” says Dr Sabyasachi Sarkar, the lead author of the study.
The researchers experimented on anopheles, aedes and culex species of mosquitoes known to transmit malaria, dengue and filariasis, respectively. “We treated the stagnant water with the water-soluble carbon nano particles and found that the mosquitoes died after a few weeks,” Dr Sarkar said.
Describing the method for preparing the solution, he said: “We simply burnt wooden blocks in an earthen pot in insufficient air to prepare the soot. The soot was then treated with some chemicals.”
The ability of these nano particles to “fluoresce” was used by the scientists to image the development of the various stages of the mosquito’s life cycle from larva to adulthood.
Dr Sarkar said that this could be used by people to control mosquitoes that breed in the surrounding water area of their homes. “It can be used as a concentrated solution or solid particle. I am hopeful that some agency will come forth and carry out some more tests to broaden its reach from laboratory to the people.”