Temperatures continue to rise and summer is fast approaching. Summer does not only mean sunny days at the beach. It also means mosquitos will be more rampant. Aside from their itchy bites, what causes more concern are the diseases they carry – malaria being one of them.
Malaria is transmitted from a bite of a female mosquito. Its symptoms include headache and fever, which could lead to death if not treated. Those who have the infectious disease typically show symptoms 8 to 25 days after the infection.
ISCA Technologies, a California-based company, is developing a solution to the problem by working on a human-scented cologne for cows, Smithsonian Mag reports.
ISCA Technologies is a company that develops environmentally friendly and natural insecticides “to protect the world from damaging insects and disease causing pathogens.”
Unlike humans, cows do not get malaria when they are bitten by mosquitos. Scientists are experimenting on the human-scented cow cologne that they will spray on cattle to attract mosquitos. This will mean less mosquito bites on humans. The cologne has a “shampoo-y goo” consistency with a mild human scent. Scientists say that that cologne will leave cattle smelling like humans for a few weeks to months.
Citizens should not worry about the cows, since they will be treated with insecticide, according to TIME. This means that mosquitos will die when they bite cows that have been sprayed with the human-scented cologne and treated with insecticide.
It is reported by the World Health Organization that 3.4 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, and people who reside in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable. Bill Gates believes in the technology and his foundation’ Grand Challenges Explorations initiative has given ISCA Technologies $100,000 to continue experimenting and developing human-scented cow cologne.
ISCA Technologies said that they will be using the grant money to experiment the cow cologne in the real world. They will be testing cattle in Kenya and California, and they expect to use about $1 for each animal test. However, they are still trying to reduce the cost in order to conduct their experiments in other locations, such as Southeast Asia and Africa where malaria is a widespread problem.
Today, malaria prevention is done by providing insecticide-treated bed nets and medication to places where malaria is rampant. If ISCA Technologies’ real-world experiments work, the human-scented cow cologne is a brilliant solution to prevent the spread of malaria in different locations around the world.
[Images via Huffington Post / Bug Bog]