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IAEA study says finding is important step in disease control The IAEA study tested the use of a drone to release sterile mosquitoes as part of the sterile insect iechnique. The use of drones can significantly increase effectiveness and reduce costs in the application of a nuclear technique to suppress disease-carrying mosquitoes, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency study.

The agency said the finding marks an important step forward towards the large-scale deployment of this method to control the vectors of dengue, yellow fever and Zika.

The study, published in the journal Science Robotics, tested the use of a drone to release sterile mosquitoes as part of the sterile insect iechnique (SIT) – a form of insect birth control that has been used successfully for decades to fight agricultural pests such as the Mediterranean fruit fly and tsetse flies. Scientists have been working in recent years to develop the method also for mosquitoes.

The SIT uses radiation to sterilise mass-reared male insects, which are then released to mate with wild females. As these do not produce any offspring, the insect population declines over time.

Date: Saturday, 20 June 2020
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A nuclear technique has successfully reduced the tsetse fly population in Senegal without harming other insects, an eight-year study has found. The study was supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), together with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an insect birth control method that uses radiation to sterilise male flies.

Date: Wednesday, 15 January 2020
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