Is nuclear technology to kill mosquitoes a big deal?


   Our reporter Qi Hui

  There was a lot of rain throughout the country this summer, and the mosquitoes were particularly rampant. They gave people a "red envelope" accidentally. Families with children suffered even more.

  In order to kill mosquitoes, we have adopted various methods, but the effect is always not ideal.

If anti-aircraft guns are feasible to fight mosquitoes, most people probably agree to use them.

Now, there is a new idea for mosquito control: the China National Atomic Energy Agency's Nuclear Technology (Sterile Insects) R&D Center established by Sun Yat-sen University has applied nuclear technology to mosquito control, creating a new "big killer."

  The use of nuclear technology to kill mosquitoes sounds a bit weird, more exaggerated than the use of anti-aircraft guns. Isn't it a fuss?

  It really isn't.

According to experts, the pain and itching caused by mosquito bites is a trivial matter. Mosquitoes are an important vector for spreading diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Zika fever.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 deaths caused by mosquito-borne infectious diseases each year.

Mosquitoes are therefore considered "the deadliest animal".

  So, how does nuclear technology kill mosquitoes?

  One of the most troublesome characteristics of mosquitoes is their strong reproductive ability.

Nuclear technology to kill mosquitoes aims at this point and performs “sterilization operations” on it: radiation is used in the laboratory to destroy the fertility of male mosquitoes. After these sterile male mosquitoes are released into the wild, they have no offspring, thus achieving reduction. The effect of mosquito-borne disease incidence.

  "Compared with traditional insect vector control methods, this approach does not produce chemical pollution, has strong mosquito killing selectivity, does not harm other beneficial organisms or natural enemies of pests, and does not induce mosquitoes to develop resistance to insecticides, and the control effect is long-lasting." Wu Zhongdao, director of the IAEA's Research and Development Center for Nuclear Technology (Sterile Insects), introduced that this is currently the only modern biological control technology that has the potential to eradicate specific mosquitoes in an area and achieve the goal of controlling the spread of diseases.

  However, ordinary people have relatively little contact with "nuclear", and everyone is concerned, is it safe to kill mosquitoes in this way?

Will there be radiation?

  In fact, the application of nuclear irradiation technology in daily life has become more common.

For example, in the field of food preservation, irradiation sterilization has been widely used and proved to be safe and residue-free.

Many food packages are printed with the words "Using Irradiation Sterilization Technology".

  According to Wu Zhongdao, in order to promote the application and transformation of key technologies, Sun Yat-Sen University has established a state-owned investment-based mosquito vector prevention and control technology production, education and research operation company, namely Sun Yat-Sen University's "Mosquito Factory".

"In the future, the production capacity is expected to reach 40-50 million male mosquitoes per week to provide enough sterile mosquitoes." Wu Zhongdao said.

  At present, the research work of Sun Yat-sen University has been highly recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In June this year, Sun Yat-sen University signed a contract with the International Atomic Energy Agency to establish the "International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Technology (Insect Sterile) Collaboration Center". The two parties will cooperate in the field of nuclear technology for mosquito vector control, especially for the control of mosquito-borne diseases in developing countries. And international public health challenges to provide more solutions.

  In fact, the "insect-irradiation sterile", a new pollution-free biological control technology derived from nuclear technology, can be used not only to kill mosquitoes, but also to prevent pests in agriculture.

Experiments have shown that after the pupae and pupae of the citrus fruit fly collected by this kind of radiation become flies, 95320 sterile male flies are released in an area of ​​500 acres of citrus orchard, which can reduce the damage rate by 7.5% Decrease to 0.005%.

This method can eliminate pests and is more environmentally friendly and safer than using pesticides.

Qi Hui

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