Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2022

One of the main challenges to curbing the number of malaria-infected cases each year is the ability of the mosquitos that carry the disease to develop resistance to insecticides. Thankfully, researchers and public health officials are incessantly seeking alternatives with new modes of action.

Using a simple process of heating and cooling, a team of researchers from New York University (NYU) has created a new crystal form of deltamethrin—a common insecticide used to control malaria—resulting in a chemical that is up to 12 times more effective against mosquitoes than the current form.

“The use of more active crystal forms of insecticides is a simple and powerful strategy for improving commercially available compounds for malaria control, circumventing the need for developing new products in the ongoing fight against mosquito-borne diseases,” says Bart Kahr, professor of chemistry at NYU and one of the study’s senior authors.

Many insecticides, including deltamethrin, exist in form of crystals. When mosquitos step on insecticide crystals, the chemical is absorbed through their feet and, if effective, kills them.

As part of their research on crystal formation and growth, Kahr and fellow NYU professor Michael Ward study and manipulate insecticide crystals, exploring their alternative forms. For the new study, they heated the commercially available form of deltamethrin to 230°F for a few minutes and let it cool at room temperature. As a result, the insecticide took a new crystallized form, composed of long, tiny fibers radiating from a single point.

After testing the insecticide’s new crystallized form on two of the most common malaria-carrying mosquitos, the researchers found that it worked up to 12 times faster than the chemical’s existing form. Even better, the new form also remained stable and effective for at least three months.  Sometimes the form is even more important than function!

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This AI could be a gamechanger for patients with lung problems

While we are largely out of the worst parts of the Pandemic, some of the lasting effects of COVID-19 can still be felt, especially in the lungs of those who endured the virus. Studies have ... Read More

Summer jobs do way more than just keeping kids busy

Nobody wants to see their kids spending the entire summer in front of a screen. While everyone can benefit from some time off, too much free time can be a detriment to everyone, especially youth ... Read More

How to properly treat a sunburn

This year promises to deliver very hot, very dry weather, especially across central and western North America. This means even though you plan to do everything you can to avoid it, you may at some ... Read More

Seven tips for cooling your home without AC

Many of us can already feel the heated start of Summer, along with the urge to crank up the air-conditioning. While heatstroke is a serious health concern, a whole city blasting cool air into their ... Read More

Scientists discover prehistoric dolphin species in landlocked Switzerland

Paleontologists have recently made an extraordinary discovery in landlocked Switzerland: two new species of dolphin dating back to 20 million years ago. Ancient dolphin species  Located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is entirely landlocked. ... Read More

Dolphins are using coral as a skin treatment

New research suggests that dolphins rub up against coral for more reasons than scratching a hard-to-reach itch. The cetaceans, which are known to rub against the rough surfaces of coral, take naps in coral beds, ... Read More