A Philippine teenager discovered a natural solution for killing the larvae of the aedes aegypti mosquito—the insect responsible for spreading the zika virus and other diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
The remedy, derived from the leaves of the San Francisco (Codiaeum variegatum) plant, was discovered by Paul Lumabao. In his research, the young man discovered that substances in the plant are a powerful poison against the larvae of the bug.
Lumabao learned that many insecticides come from the extract of plants, so he began searching for an active ingredient and testing within his community. The ‘San Francisco’ was the perfect plant for the job. The species is very common in the region and often cultivated in public city gardens.
The young researcher announced his findings on May 12th at the Intel science and engineering fair. This year the event gathered 1750 students from 75 different countries.