By Fábio Reynol
Agência FAPESP – A number of diseases that affect humans, such as dengue fever, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, and diseases that affect pests that destroy crops, such as cotton, sugarcane and banana, share something in common: they are all caused by insects.
An extensive study carried out at the Universidade de São Paulo Chemistry Institute (IQ/USP) used a unique approach to gain knowledge about different insects, namely, investigating their intestinal function. The study opened up new pathways for innovative pest control methods.
The study is part of a Thematic Project which lasted from 2008 to 2012 and was funded by FAPESP through its Thematic Project Research Support program.
The project was coordinated by IQ/USP professor Walter Ribeiro Terra and the main researcher and vice-coordinator Clelia Ferreira and is a continuation of previous Thematic Projects on the same topic that have been carried out since 1991. The newest project began in 2012 and is expected to end in 2017.