Sunday December 8, 2019

Researchers Develop a Tool That Attracts and Captures Female Mosquitoes Looking for Site to Lay Eggs

AGO traps are a novel chemical-free, effective approach to control Aedes aegypti (Yellow fever mosquito) populations

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Researchers, Tool, Mosquitoes
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, Tool, Mosquitoes
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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Facebook, Twitter Reveal That Android Apps Accessed Users Data

Twitter and Facebook said they will notify those whose information was likely shared through apps

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Android Smartphone phone
Smartphones have become the most important gadget to own these days & Android is a mobile operating system. Pixabay

In yet another data breach, Facebook and Twitter have admitted that data of hundreds of users was improperly accessed by some third-party apps on Android Google Play Store as they logged into those apps.

Security researchers discovered that the One Audience and Mobiburn software development kits (SDK) provided access to users’ data, including email addresses, usernames, and recent tweets, on both the platforms.

Twitter and Facebook said they will notify those whose information was likely shared through apps.

“We recently received a report about a malicious mobile software development kit (SDK) maintained by One Audience. We are informing you about this today because we believe we have a responsibility to inform you of incidents that may impact the safety of your personal data or Twitter account,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement late Monday.

The companies were notified of the vulnerability by third-party security researchers.

Android is a mobile operating system
Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software. Pixabay

A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge: “After investigating, we removed the apps from our platform for violating our platform policies and issued cease and desist letters against One Audience and Mobiburn”.

We plan to notify people whose information we believe was likely shared after they had granted these apps permission to access their profile information like name, email and gender”.

At the moment, it looks iOS users were not impacted.

According to Twitter, this issue is not due to a vulnerability in Twitter’s software, but rather the lack of isolation between SDKs within an application.

“We have evidence that this SDK was used to access people’s personal data for at least some Twitter account holders using Android, however, we have no evidence that the iOS version of this malicious SDK targeted people who use Twitter for iOS,” said Twitter.

Twitter has informed Google and Apple about the malicious SDK so they can take further action if needed.

Android apps in a tablet
Some of the best apps available for Android smartphones. Pixabay

“We will be directly notifying people who use Twitter for Android who may have been impacted by this issue,” it added.

Earlier this month, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members” information in the last 60 days”.

ALSO READ: Facebook Turned To Privacy Champion By Embracing Encrypted Messaging

The social networking giant found that the apps – primarily social media management and video streaming apps – retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface).

According to the company, the apps designed to make it easier for group admins to manage their groups more effectively and help members share videos to their groups. (IANS)