Booze, beer, and another way to protect mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be resilient, but even they can use some help in surviving a sterilizing bout of x-ray radiation. This study studies several kinds of help:

lisaThe effect of the radio-protective agents ethanol, trimethylglycine, and beer on survival of X-ray-sterilized male Aedes aegypti.” Stacy D. Rodriguez, Ramaninder K. Brar, Lisa L. Drake [pictured here], Hannah E. Drumm, David P. Price, John I. Hammond, Jacob Urquidi, and Immo A. Hansen, Parasites  and Vectors, vol. 6, no. 1, 2013, p. 211. (Thanks to investigator Bill Saidel for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, report:

“sterilization with ionizing radiation is the method of choice for effective sterilization of male insects for most species. The lack of gentle radiation methods has resulted in significant complications when [this method of sterilization] has been applied to mosquitoes….

“Conclusion: Our results suggest that treatment with ethanol, beer, or trimethylglycine before irradiation can be used to enhance longevity in mosquitoes.”