For flies, the notoriety of carriers of all kinds of infection has steadfastly been fixed. Moreover, as shown by the research of the Nanyang University team led by Stefan Schuster, we clearly underestimated them: flies carry much more disease-causing bacteria than previously thought. In particular, the bacteria Helicobacter pylory, which cause ulcers and even stomach cancer, have been found in some insects.
However, instead of creating another means to combat our unpleasantly buzzing, annoying neighbors, scientists decided to use their unique ability to penetrate the most secluded and dirtiest corners, thus identifying the habitats of dangerous bacteria. Project manager Stefan Schuster spoke about the background of the research:
“Our research has shown that bacteria are spread over vast areas with the help of flies. Usually bacteria "cling" to their legs and wings and remain on the surface where they "land".
The scientists decided to use the flies raised in the laboratory as a means of monitoring the bacterial environment. Penetrating into the most inaccessible places, they collect the microflora available there. Scientists then use special traps to catch the released insects and identify the types of bacteria they encountered while traveling.
"Such autonomous bionic drones, " continues S. Shuster, "can be useful, for example, in agriculture for the detection of outbreaks of dangerous plant diseases."