Technology‎ > ‎

Scientists use mosquito to test water quality

posted 14 Aug 2011, 08:37 by Mpelembe Admin
A Costa Rican researcher has discovered a type of mosquito that can be used to identify river water that is safe for human consumption. Sharon Reich has more.

SAN RAMON DE TRES RIOS, SAN JOSE PROVINCE, COSTA RICA - New research may just take the sting out of mosquito bites.

Scientists say the insects can help determine if river water is clean enough for humans to drink.

After months of research, scientists in Costa Rica found that mosquitoes from the Dixa Midge family are purists when it comes to their water supply. They can only survive in unpolluted waters that contain high oxygen levels - a sign that bacteria levels in water are low.


Luis Guillermo Chaverri is a researcher from the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica (INBio).

RESEARCHER FROM THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF COSTA RICA (INBio), LUIS GUILLERMO CHAVERRI, SAYING:

"It's a species that can help us to determine the quality of the water, without chemical analysis. It's a first approach to knowing the quality of the water.,"

Chaverri says that if pollution from chemical residues or waste is present in the water, oxygen levels are low - and mosquitoes and their larvae can not survive.


RESEARCHER FROM THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF COSTA RICA (INBio), LUIS GUILLERMO CHAVERRI, SAYING:

"If the river is polluted, two things happen, firstly the mosquito will become infected with chemical substances. The mosquito will get poisoned and secondly, with contaminated water, oxygen levels are very low so the mosquito will find it tough to breath."

Researchers plan to teach locals living around the River Torres how to use the bugs to identify clean drinking water. The dixa midge is commonly found near rivers and could help communities all over the world.


Sharon Reich, Reuters

Comments