Scientists Use senseFly’s eBee to Track the Spread of Malaria

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 27, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Applications

Researchers are deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to map out forests and track the spread of malaria between mosquitoes, monkeys and humans.

According to an article from NPR, U.K. scientists are going to southeast Asia to fly a senseFly eBee mapping UAV to collect imagery over forests where mosquitoes transmit the Plasmodium knowlesi to macaque monkeys, which can then transmit it to humans.

The UAV can spot places where humans have made their mark through deforestation and changed the living patterns of the macaques. In turn, the humans have been infected with malaria through contact with the animals. The team, which calls the project Monkeybar, then compares the discovered malaria cases with cases that have been recorded at local hospitals.

A wildlife group has also given the monkeys GPS collars, which allow the scientists to add map points of infected monkeys and humans. The research team is reportedly working with a group called Conservation Drones to construct a UAV that will potentially collect imagery of not only the land but also the monkeys, therefore eliminating the need for GPS collars.

Read the full NPR report here.

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