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Solar-Powered Mosquito Net Proves a Small Success

A new type of mosquito trap running on solar electricity and using human odor as bait has cut mosquito populations by 70 percent in a test on a malaria-ridden island in Kenya, according to a new study.

The study, published in The Lancet last week, also found 30 percent fewer malaria victims in houses that had traps than in those that did not. The total number of malaria cases was so small during the three-year testing period, however, that the researchers did not conclude that the traps were only 30 percent effective.

Although the traps appeared quite effective at lowering mosquito populations, they had some significant drawbacks.

Because they need power from rooftop solar panels, they are relatively expensive. Still, the panels appealed to residents who could also use them to power a light bulb or charge a cellphone.

Ioan Sameli

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