Scientists have figured out a way of tracking and getting rid of the annoying mosquitoes carrying harmful diseases simply through our mobile phones.
Scientists at Stanford University have created a mosquito monitoring platform ‘Abuzz’ to develop the most detailed global map of mosquito distribution. All people would have to do is record the mosquito buzzing and submit it to Abuzz.
“If you see a mosquito and you swat it, you've saved yourself an itch for one day. But if you see a mosquito and you record it and you send the data to the Abuzz project, then you've potentially contributed to an effort that can reduce the burden of mosquito-borne disease for many generations in the future, hopefully,” said Haripriya Mukundarajan, the lead author of the study.
Mosquitoes are the carriers of numerous diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika virus, which results in millions of deaths per year. Through contributions to Abuzz from around the world, scientists will be able to produce a map that would inform the exact time and place of where the mosquitoes will be present, reported Stanford News.
According to the senior author Manu Prakash, “We could enable the world's largest network of mosquito surveillance - just purely using tools that almost everyone around the world now is carrying in their pocket. There are very limited resources available for vector surveillance and control and it's extremely important to understand how you would deploy these limited resources where the mosquitoes are.”
A person can contribute by just holding a cellphone near the mosquito, recording its voice and uploading it to the Abuzz website. The researchers would further take the raw recording and clean up the background noise and then run it through an algorithm that matches the specific buzz with the specie. As soon as the match is found, the researchers will send back the data to the person who submitted the recording and mark it on the website map demonstrating when and where the mosquito was seen.
Moreover, Science Daily reported, the facility is not just limited for people with smartphone, any cellphone can be used for this purpose. However, in order to accomplish its goal, Abuzz needs active participation from the citizens.
Prakash exclaimed, “What I would love to see is people engaging in the problem. Try to join the platform. Record mosquitoes. Learn about the biology. And in that process, you will be supporting the kind of research and scientific data that we and medical entomologists around the world so desperately need and, at the same time, you will be making your own community safer.”