Riverside opens mosquito disease research lab

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File photo: A mosquito sits on a stick April 9, 2009 in Martinez, California.

A nanotechnology company has just opened a new research lab in San Bernardino. The scientists there will look for ways to curb the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

OlFactor Laboratories will employ mosquito abatement techniques patented by UC Riverside researchers. That includes a blend of environmentally-friendly odors that can short-circuit a mosquito’s ability to detect CO2 emitted by humans. That’s one of the things that attract the bloodsucking insects.

UC Riverside entomologists also identified a molecule in some female mosquitoes that when blocked will disrupt the insect's blood digestion and egg development. Researchers hope such discoveries can help control the spread of West Nile virus, Dengue Fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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