Scientists have created a new one App Designed to identify dangerous mosquitoes based on the sounds made by the insects.
The app, called Abuzz, is designed to help combat the major mosquito-borne diseases. The diseases – like malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever – kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Haripriya Vaidehi Narayanan is one of the researchers who helped develop the app. She began working on the project as a PhD student at Stanford University. She is now in the Department of Immunology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Narayanan told VOA that everyone with one Cell phone, mobile phone Phone could use the app to identify mosquitos. “If you see a mosquito nearby, just open the phone, open the app, point your phone at the mosquito, and hit the record button,” She said.
“Then when the mosquito Valves its wings and starts to fly around, it makes this sound, that annoying humming sound. That sound is recorded by the Abuzz app, “she added.
Many diseases that mosquitoes carry have no cures or vaccines. So aiming at the flying insects is the best way to control them. “The most important step is to know where the mosquitoes are,” said Narayanan.
Traditional methods of hunting mosquitoes are expensive and can take a long time. The process also requires labor-intensive trapping as well as trained scientists to identify the insects.
Manu Prakash is Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University and the lead researcher on the project. He says that from about 3,500 different mosquitoes species, only about 40 are dangerous to humans.
According to Prakash, the goal of the project was to find out if the mosquitoes around a person’s house are just annoying – or if they are potentially dangerous. To find out, his team decided to listen.
When mosquitoes move their wings up and down, they make humming noises. But each type of mosquito makes a slightly different buzz. The app records these sounds.
App users can get a response by recording just a second or two of the buzzing sound. The app compares this recording with a collection of other recordings. It then predicts which mosquito species it is most likely to be.
Billions of people around the world can use this tool with their phones. So the researchers say they will be able to do this monitor Mosquitoes on a much larger basis than in the past.
By Crowdsourcing Mosquito information worldwide, the app can help to create maps of where dangerous mosquitoes are. This can help scientists and health officials identify areas where disease is likely to break out and where mosquito control can be targeted.
Prakash said he believes this kind of widespread community effort can be an important step in fighting diseases that mosquitoes cause.
He added that the tool uses machine learning to get better as more people use it. “We’re thrilled that when … hundreds of thousands of people pick up mosquitoes every day – especially around the world – it creates the kind of community that is needed,” said Prakash.
The development team is expected to release the Abuzz app to the public in the coming months.
Another group of researchers at Oxford University in the UK have developed a similar app called Mozzwear. This app is designed to identify malaria mosquitoes based on their sound.
I am Bryan Lynn.
Asher Jones reported the story for VOA News. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in this story
App – n. a mobile phone program that performs a special function
button – n. A switch you press to control a device
flap – adj. move up and down quickly and repeatedly
Cell phone, mobile phone – adj. able to move or be easily moved
annoy – v. To make someone angry easily
species – n. a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants
monitor – v. Watch something closely
Crowdsourcing – n. He gives work to a large group of people or the public to gather information