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Malaria, etc.

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  • Don & Cathy Weber
    Hey Paul, here s a novel approach for the malaria fight, one that Gates Foundation is funding. I m reading a lot about malaria recently; seems to be getting
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 6, 2005

      Hey Paul, here's a novel approach for the malaria fight, one that Gates Foundation is funding.  I'm reading a lot about malaria recently; seems to be getting newly invigorated scientific attention.  Too bad we don't have it here anymore like we have TB and AIDS, eee???   Scientific American has an article on it this month.  The Gobal Fund has made it and TB on somewhat of a par with HIV, don't you think?   

      And David, we couldn't get that video to work...it kept stalling.  We ate them but don't really miss those termites, does anyone else?  Interesting article to me, though, since I used to work daily in that TB ward at Queens. 

      *******

      Mosquito 'Olfacticides'

      Dr. Richard Axel of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University and Dr. Laurence J. Zwiebel of Vanderbilt University are both experts in insects' sense of smell. (Dr. Axel shared a 2004 Nobel Prize for working out how odors arouse the brain.)

      Their complementary projects - Dr. Axel received $5 million and Dr. Zwiebel $8.5 million - have identified the genes that produce 79 odor receptors in mosquitoes.

      Now they will seek to build what Dr. Zwiebel described as "a stand-alone mosquito-nose platform" - essentially, an antenna fragment in a petri dish - and to implant mosquito odor-receptor genes into fruit flies, which are easier to study.

      Then they will test thousands of small molecules on these artificial or fly-borne "noses" to find chemicals that either block or overwhelm them.

      Dr. Axel argued at the conference that blocking one receptor - the one that detects the carbon dioxide in human breath - might be enough to discourage biting.

      Dr. Zwiebel argued that, since human sweat contains 150 different compounds, a cocktail of several blockers would be needed, both to encourage mosquitoes to bite other carbon dioxide-exhaling animals, like cows, and to make it harder for mosquitoes to evolve resistance to a single blocker.

      One advantage of what Dr. Axel termed "olfacticides," which could be sprayed on the skin or soaked into mosquito nets, is that they are unlikely to be as toxic to humans as insecticides are.

      A potential disadvantage is that odor-blockers could, for example, render pollinating insects like bees unable to smell plants.

      It may also be possible, Dr. Zwiebel said, to find scents even more alluring than human sweat.

      "Imagine," he said, "a village with a vat of DDT laced with compounds so attractive that it would become a mosquito motel: they'd check in, but they wouldn't check out."

    • Paul DEVER
      Man, I need to write a grant like that and get some of that Gates money./... ... From: Don & Cathy Weber Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 9, 2005
        Man, I need to write a grant like that and get some of that Gates money./...

        ----Original Message Follows----
        From: "Don & Cathy Weber" <weber@...>
        Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
        To: <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [ujeni] Malaria, etc.
        Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 18:33:40 -0800

        Hey Paul, here's a novel approach for the malaria fight, one that Gates
        Foundation is funding. I'm reading a lot about malaria recently; seems to
        be getting newly invigorated scientific attention. Too bad we don't have it
        here anymore like we have TB and AIDS, eee??? Scientific American has an
        article on it this month. The Gobal Fund has made it and TB on somewhat of
        a par with HIV, don't you think?

        And David, we couldn't get that video to work...it kept stalling. We ate
        them but don't really miss those termites, does anyone else? Interesting
        article to me, though, since I used to work daily in that TB ward at Queens.

        *******

        Mosquito 'Olfacticides'

        Dr. Richard Axel of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia
        University and Dr. Laurence J. Zwiebel of Vanderbilt University are both
        experts in insects' sense of smell. (Dr. Axel shared a 2004 Nobel Prize for
        working out how odors arouse the brain.)

        Their complementary projects - Dr. Axel received $5 million and Dr. Zwiebel
        $8.5 million - have identified the genes that produce 79 odor receptors in
        mosquitoes.

        Now they will seek to build what Dr. Zwiebel described as "a stand-alone
        mosquito-nose platform" - essentially, an antenna fragment in a petri dish -
        and to implant mosquito odor-receptor genes into fruit flies, which are
        easier to study.

        Then they will test thousands of small molecules on these artificial or
        fly-borne "noses" to find chemicals that either block or overwhelm them.

        Dr. Axel argued at the conference that blocking one receptor - the one that
        detects the carbon dioxide in human breath - might be enough to discourage
        biting.

        Dr. Zwiebel argued that, since human sweat contains 150 different compounds,
        a cocktail of several blockers would be needed, both to encourage mosquitoes
        to bite other carbon dioxide-exhaling animals, like cows, and to make it
        harder for mosquitoes to evolve resistance to a single blocker.

        One advantage of what Dr. Axel termed "olfacticides," which could be sprayed
        on the skin or soaked into mosquito nets, is that they are unlikely to be as
        toxic to humans as insecticides are.

        A potential disadvantage is that odor-blockers could, for example, render
        pollinating insects like bees unable to smell plants.

        It may also be possible, Dr. Zwiebel said, to find scents even more alluring
        than human sweat.

        "Imagine," he said, "a village with a vat of DDT laced with compounds so
        attractive that it would become a mosquito motel: they'd check in, but they
        wouldn't check out."
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