The naked truth about using smartphones to detect species of mosquitoes

Another Friday, another naked truth.

Chris Smith, also known as the Naked Scientist chats about a recent discovery made by a researcher at Stanford University and chats to Eusebius McKaiser about the beneficial relationship between mobile phones and mosquitoes.

Smith says that mobile phones are being used to analyse the sounds made by mosquitoes. He adds that there are roughly 3 500 different species of mosquitoes around the world but only a handful of them are capable of transmitting diseases like Malaria.

There are hundreds and millions of cases of these diseases that have lethal consequences, says Smith.

Scientists are still trying to work out where the mosquitoes are, in what sorts of densities, and how they move around - the painstaking way.

Chris Smith, the naked scientist

Smith adds that scientists need to execute the laborious task of deploying an entomologist, (someone who understands how insects work) into the field to collect samples of mosquitoes and calculate them. He adds that there are limited resources and not enough time to execute this arduous task.

He says that a researcher at Stanford University published a paper which highlighted the use of the mobile microphones in mobile phones to detect the various species of mosquitoes.

Microphones in mobile phones are so advanced, that they are tuned to pick up voices in all kinds of conditions, he explains, adding that the sounds of a mosquito’s wings map exactly the same frequency range as the human voice.

Smith goes into detail by saying that people should be able to use a mobile phone to record the sounds mosquitoes make, and work out the various types of species.

Different mosquito species have a different wing beat frequencies, says Smith. He adds that each species has a signature sound.

They have done this very detailed study, and they’ve created an app so that people all over the word can record their local mosquitoes and send in the sounds of their mosquitoes.

Chris Smith, the naked scientist

Smith says that a paper has been published showing the possibility of using your mobile device to record the mosquitos in your area, and analyses their sounds through the website.

This turns the entire world into a citizen scientist capable of informing where these animals are says Smith. He adds that this can pinpoint where the diseases are, and how they spread.

Click on the audio below to hear more...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How to mosquito-proof yourself if you're holidaying in a Malaria-area

How to mosquito-proof yourself if you're holidaying in a Malaria-area

Dr Lucille Bloomberg, from NICD, says malaria is dangerous because it’s rapidly progressive and it can get misdiagnosed.

How to prevent stagnant stored water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes

How to prevent stagnant stored water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes

Many Capetonians are doing their bit to save water by collecting rainwater and even storing their greywater.

Malaria infections on the rise in Limpopo

Malaria infections on the rise in Limpopo

Limpopo Department of Health's Philip Kruger says there are about 1% of deaths suspected to be related to malaria cases.

Drone technology to fight malaria in South Africa

Drone technology to fight malaria in South Africa

Find out how a project that could use drones to deliver sterile male mosquitoes in Africa will help stem malaria.

Significant progress made in reduction of Malaria deaths globally

Significant progress made in reduction of Malaria deaths globally

CEO of Goodbye Malaria says despite this, there was a spike in malaria cases in 2017 due to heavy summer rains.

Researchers detect first ever drug resistant malaria parasite

Researchers detect first ever drug resistant malaria parasite

Researchers have detected for the first time detected a malaria parasite that's resistant to anti-malaria drug, artemisinin.

Popular articles
[WATCH] Teen shoved off bridge by pal into river

[WATCH] Teen shoved off bridge by pal into river

A Washington teenager was badly hurt when her friend pushed her off the bridge after she said she didn't want to jump.

I've always known what space I wanted to be in - Trevor Stuurman, visual artist

I've always known what space I wanted to be in - Trevor Stuurman, visual artist

#NightTalk host Gugu Mhlungu chats to entrepreneur & multimedia visual artist Trevor Stuurman about his accolades and inspiration

Africa State of Mind: ''They call me the real Makoya' - Femi Koya, musician

Africa State of Mind: ''They call me the real Makoya' - Femi Koya, musician

In this episode of Africa State of Mind, musician Femi Koya chats to Lee Kasumba about leaving Nigeria to come to South Africa.

I've always said that stories are the mothers of all disciplines - Gcina Mhlophe

I've always said that stories are the mothers of all disciplines - Gcina Mhlophe

Phemelo Motene chats to the mother of storytelling & a poet to the masses, Gcina Mhlophe about what it means to share your stories

This is how the Pebbles Project is protecting kids that live in the Winelands!

This is how the Pebbles Project is protecting kids that live in the Winelands!

Fundraising and Outreach Manager at the Pebbles Project, Charmaine Gola, chats about the work they do & their focus on the youth

The nutritional, environmental & socio-cultural benefits of indigenous foods

The nutritional, environmental & socio-cultural benefits of indigenous foods

'You need to look outside your traditional shopping centers to actually eat traditional food in the city' - Mpho Tshukudu, author

ProKid described as a true family man who loved his mom

ProKid described as a true family man who loved his mom

His brother Sandile Mkhize says he promised ProKid that he will continue where he left off.

'The Suzuki Dzire is the perfect day-to-day runaround car' - Jacob Moshokoa

'The Suzuki Dzire is the perfect day-to-day runaround car' - Jacob Moshokoa

In the car feature, automotive journalist Jacob Moshokoa chats about his experience driving around with the Suzuki Dzire.

[LISTEN] Codeine addiction and abuse

[LISTEN] Codeine addiction and abuse

Member of the SASOP, Dr Eugene Allers chats about the causes behind addiction to over the counter medication.

Phemelo responds after listener congratulates her for speaking wonderful English

Phemelo responds after listener congratulates her for speaking wonderful English

'To congratulate me, and to make it seem like this is an accolade is extremely offensive because of our history' - Phemelo Motene