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New Mosquito Trap to Prevent Infectious Diseases
   2016-06-22 17:08:03    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Image taken on Feb. 17, 2016 shows Dr. Juan Garcia, Director of the Center for Parasitological Studies and Vectors (CEPAVE) of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of La Plata National University, looking at a sample of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sheltered for study at one of the Centre laboratories, in La Plata city, Argentina. [Photo: Xinhua]

Microsoft has been testing a new mosquito trap which they hope could help detect infectious diseases.

Researchers have been deploying a new prototype mosquito trap in Houston as part of their Project Premonition program.

Project leader Ethan Jackson says they hope the traps will help them identify new diseases before they become widespread.

"Project Premonition started from the observation that emerging infectious diseases are very difficult to predict, dangerous to societies and expensive. So the vision is can we make them more predictable? If we get it right, I hope the answer to that is yes. I hope that we can predict emerging infectious diseases before they surprise us, as we saw in the past with something like Ebola, as we see now with something like Zika."

The trap is designed to collect a specific type of mosquito, that researchers use as a means to sample blood.

Jackson explains how the process works.

"The technologies that we're testing here in Houston are the Premonition trap, which is a sort of robotic smart trap that's designed to understand what's flying around it in the environment and collect only those things that you want to collect and that might be interesting to analyze."

The trap uses artificial intelligence to attract mosquitoes and can record the time and weather conditions of when they are caught.

The information can then be analyzed to track where the mosquitoes came from and any health risks they may pose.

Scientists are hoping the traps will help contain the Zika virous which is expected to hit North America soon as the weather warms.

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