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Summer Science Exhibition 2016 | Monday 4 July - Sunday 10 July | London

Mosquito diaries

Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Become a lab technician and test virtual mosquitoes for insecticide resistance, in our computer game ResistanceSim.       
  • Play a competitive buzz-wire game, mimicking the flight track of a hungry mosquito flying around a bednet. 
  • Get up close to live mosquitoes, and make mosquito masks featuring antennae and mouthparts.

Find out more

Mosquitoes transmit malaria, a disease that kills over 430,000 people every year. Following a period of great progress in reducing malaria, the emergence of insecticide resistance in mosquito populations is a major threat to the future of malaria control. This exhibit invites you to explore two of our research projects, that use technology to regain the upper hand in the fight against mosquitoes.

Insecticide treated bednets are a key intervention for preventing malaria. Using infrared cameras to look at mosquito flight paths, we’re exploring how insecticides on bed nets affect mosquitoes and prevent them from feeding on the person sleeping inside. We’re investigating how mosquitoes move around a bed net when hunting for blood, and how much contact with the net is necessary to deliver a fatal amount of insecticide. With this technology we aim to understand how bed nets work and to design new better bed nets.

To prolong the effectiveness of insecticides used to control malaria it is vital they are used properly and data on insecticide resistance is collected. We have developed a digital computer game as part of a wider training program for mosquito control managers in Africa. ResistanceSim challenges the player to control a virtual mosquito population that is becoming resistant to the insecticides used for Malaria control. From the lab to the field, players are immersed in a 3D world where they are taught about test procedures and data collection, to arm them for the fight against resistance.

Presented by: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Warwick, National Institute of Medical Research Mwanza Tanzania, Extra Mile Studios, Manta Ray Media Ltd