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DRDO’s weapon against mosquitoes
Published on 21 Feb. 2011 12:10 AM IST
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It has been developing missiles and other state-of-the-art equipment for the armed forces, but the Defence Research and Development Organisation is now ready to take on the oldest human enemy -- mosquitoes -- that are vectors of diseases like malaria, and dengue with a new insect repellent cream.
Launching the ‘Maxo Military’ and ‘Maxo Safe and & Soft Wipes,’ DRDO said the cream-based product will fool the mosquitoes, will have a pleasant fragrance and will not block your skin pores -- a common problem with such products. While a tube of mosquito repellent gel costs Rs 36, the DRDO-developed ‘mosquito tissue’ can be bought for only Rs 3.
“This cream is based on a uniquely configured, researched and tested molecule which acts like a decoy and cheats the mosquito. It does not allow mosquitoes to sense the presence of human blood in their vicinity,” Prahlada, chief controller, research & development, Defence Research and Development Organisation told reporters. The artificially developed molecules in the cream interfere with the sensory mechanism of the mosquito and stop it from biting the humans. Research and developed by DRDO, the product would be manufactured and marketed by Jyothy Laboratories Limited which also holds the license to sell it outside the defence forces. The first of its kind mosquito repellent has been developed under a special technology commercialisation programme signed between the DRDO and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
DRDO and FICCI signed for the Accelerated Technology Assessment and Commercialisation programme in 2009 and have successfully commercialised more than 20 products for mass production by the private industries.
“The cream has been developed keeping in mind the requirement of soldiers posted in forest and swampy areas. These soldiers are always susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya and dengue,” said M P Ramachandran, chairman and managing director, Jyothy Labs. Based on diethyl phenyl acetamide technology, the product has gone under a series of advancements after its initial launch a few years ago.
Besides Indian Army, the cream would also be supplied to the central paramilitary forces engaged in border policing and Naxal-infested areas.

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