The Tsetse Fly

Topics: Sterile insect technique, African trypanosomiasis, Flies Pages: 1 (767 words) Published: May 16, 2013
The Tsetse Fly
1. The tsetse fly poses many dangers to the environment and to animals. This fly has been responsible for conveying a disease called African trypoanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). Sleeping sickness can be fatal, and in areas of interest it is responsible for 40,000 deaths per year- just in humans. Considering that there are 23 different species of tsetse flies, this could pose a problem. 2. Traditionally, scientists would trap the flies using electric blue cloth (this would attract the them). Upon touching the cloth, they would be killed if not instantly, soon after by the insectidies that were proirly sprayed on the cloth. Additionally, the use of chemicals was considered as a way to trap the insects and kill them. However, it was not economically successful. 3. This technique is environmentally clean and safe. Not many non-targets would be effected except for the insects that were also attracted to the colour of the cloth, such as horse flies. The chemicals sprayed into the cloth was minimal and therefore, didn`t cause a big threat to the environment. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Sterile insect technique uses nuclear radiation. The easiest way to describe it is as a form of insect birth control. This technique includes breeding large numbers of the fly in a laboratory and using radiation to sterilize them. This way when they are introduced back into the environment, they cannot create any offspring. This prevents the disease to spread as fast. It is very efficent in sterilizing the male flies, and poses little to no problems for the non-target speices living with the tsetse flies. 2. SIT is sustainable because it has no effect on 'non-target' species. The only problem that could be considered at this point in time is that some people object to sterilizing insects, as well as the effects aren't fully known of the radiation. 3. Yes, this is a viable alternative to...

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