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"Wonder Material" Graphene can be used to prevent mosquito bites



  Midge (Culicidae sp) feeding, close-up

A mosquito hits the buffet line.


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Mosquitoes, the thirsty little bloodsuckers, are one of the deadliest animals in the world . As carriers of some particularly bad diseases, researchers were in a seemingly endless search to ward them off . Scientists have found ingenious new ways to completely eradicate . Brown University researchers, however, have found another way to keep the tiny vampires at bay: lining fabrics with insanely strong nanomaterial graphene ].

Graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel and lighter than paper, is often referred to as a miracle material. In a study published Monday that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said graphene could act against mosquito bites in two ways. For one thing, mosquitoes can not bite. On the other hand, it could thwart the chemical signals that guide mosquitoes to their next "blood meal."






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"Mosquitoes are major carriers of disease worldwide and there is great interest in non-chemical mosquito repellent protection," said researcher Robert Hurt, a professor of engineering at Brown. Some garments that are already on sale are enriched with the insect repellent permethrin and have the promise to repel mosquitoes and ticks.

To test the graphene, volunteers put their arms in a mosquito-filled enclosure, exposing a small patch of skin. Those who were fortunate that their arm was covered with graphene did not get bites. The mosquitoes were bred in a lab so that the brave subjects did not have to worry about diseases.

"With the graphene, the mosquitoes did not even land on the epidermis," said lead author Cintia Castillho, Ph.D. Student at Brown. "They just did not seem to care."

Originally published at 11:20 am, PT


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