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The study, published in the journal PLOS, shows that Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGP trap) successfully protected people from getting infected with the chikungunya virus in Puerto Rico. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a tool that attracts and captures female mosquitoes looking for a site to lay eggs, which in the future may help curb the chikungunya virus.

The study, published in the journal PLOS, shows that Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGP trap) successfully protected people from getting infected with the chikungunya virus in Puerto Rico.


“AGO traps are a novel chemical-free, effective approach to control Aedes aegypti (Yellow fever mosquito) populations and provide protection from infection with the pathogens that these mosquitoes transmit,” said researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Further evaluations should determine if AGO traps are sustainable and effective in large scale community trials,” they said.


Researchers have developed a tool that attracts and captures female mosquitoes looking for a site to lay eggs, which in the future may help curb the chikungunya virus. Pixabay

The lack of effective tools to control Aedes aegypti mosquito populations has resulted in the continued expansion of the dengue virus, zika virus and chikungunya virus.

For the study, the researchers randomly selected 290 households in Puerto Rican communities that had AGO trap interventions and 349 households in communities without AGO traps. From intervention communities, 175 household members were analysed and 152 from non-intervention communities.

Blood samples were collected from each participant to detect chikungunya virus infection and surveys recorded demographic information as well as data on mosquito repellent and bed net use and frequency of mosquito bites.

A total of 114 participants (34.9 per cent) were seropositive for the chikungunya virus. Among people who spent most of their daytime hours inside the community they lived in, 10.3 per cent were seropositive for chikungunya virus in communities with AGO traps whereas 48.7 per cent were positive for chikungunya virus in communities without traps.

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Among all participants, including those who did not spend as much daylight time within the community, 26.1 per cent were seropositive for the chikungunya virus in the intervention communities and 43.8 per cent were positive in communities without traps. (IANS)


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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)


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Photo by Brandon Romanchuk on Unsplash

Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features.

Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.

When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.

The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)


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Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit.

By Olivia Sarkar
It's the holiday season, which means it's time to be merry! As the month of December approaches, we're all in a festive mindset. With Christmas just around the corner, there will be plenty of parties and get-togethers with friends and family.

Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.

Dirty Chai Eggnog:

Eggnog is a Christmas favorite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity. It is an American tradition that has spread around the world. Historically, it has been made using eggs, milk, and alcohol. Our culinary artists have given an Indian twist to this winter drink, making it quintessentially desi!



Recipe:

30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Whole Spices
Sweet cream foam to top up

Garnish:
Cinnamon powder and star anise.

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