Leal Lab Discovers Generic Insect Repellent Detector

Walter S. Leal, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and researchers in his lab have discovered a “generic insect repellent detector” and its receptor in the fruit fly -- research that may lead to more effective and lower-cost products than DEET, the gold standard of insect repellents.

“These are tools that can be used for research and development (R&D) aimed at developing better repellents,” said Leal. “Although DEET is widely used as the first line of defense against mosquito-borne pathogen transmission, there is a high demand for better insect repellents, but the cost of R&D is prohibitive. With current technologies, it takes about 10 years and $30 million to develop a new repellent. Only about one test compound in 20,000 reaches the market.” Read the full article.