Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Insects' sex scents can save lives

17.06.2009
By identifying and also finding methods to prepare the substances, pheromones, that certain insects secret either to attract to them other individuals of the same species, potential sex partners, or to warn each other about enemies, scientists can save many human lives primarily in the third world. This is shown by Björn Bohman at Kalmar University in Sweden in his dissertation "Identification, Synthesis, and Structure-activity Studies of Semiochemicals".

Under the supervision of Associate Professor Rikard Unelius, Björn Bohman, a chemist, has collaborated with biologists to find the compounds secreted by three different insects.

In South America there are the two blood-sucking triatomines Rhodnius prolixus and Triatoma brasliensis, which carry parasites that spread the deadly Chagas disease that affects millions of people in South America each year. By trying to identify the substances that the insects send out either to attract others of the same species or to alarm others about danger, it will be possible to control these insects.

Biologists have singled out the relevant glands in the insects. In his work Björn Bohman managed to identify several compounds that are found in these glands and then to prepare them synthetically in the laboratory. The objective is to be able to produce an inexpensive monitoring trap (such as a matchbox with a sticky strip and a scent) that people in exposed areas can have in their homes.

For the last five years he has been busy with three projects, one of which involves these triatomines in South America. Moreover he has worked with the lucerne weevil Sitona discoideus, which attacks alfalfa, and developed ways to stop damage from the gnawing of the pine weevil Hylobius abietis, which can be a major problem when clear-cut forests are replanted.

All of the isomers of a potential sex pheromone for the lucerne weevil, 5-hydroxy-4-methyl-3-heptanone, were synthesized using a method developed by Björn Bohman, who used vegetables or mushrooms to produce the desired compounds. This proved to be a both better and considerably simpler method than previously known methods.

Knowledge of insect pheromones and how they can be produced synthetically is important when it comes to finding effective ways to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture, for example. With this knowledge it is possible, for one thing, to spread tiny amounts of the substance that the insect pests communicate with so that they can't find each other for mating or, the opposite way, to lure them into traps where they can be eliminated.

Contact: Björn Bohman: cell phone: +46 (0)708-743541; bjorn.bohman@hik.se.
Pressofficer Karolina Ekstrand; +46-766 476030;Karolina.Ekstrand@hik.se

Karolina Ekstrand | idw
Further information:
http://www.hik.se
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>