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DRDO Develops Mosquito Repellent Cream
TOI, 15 February, 2011

Despite criticism that it should restrict itself to only areas of strategic importance or high-tech weapon systems, DRDO continues to press on regardless in other areas as well. The latest enemy on its radar screen is the humble mosquito.

The DRDO on Monday handed over a "world-class' multi-insect repellent developed by it, dubbed "Maxo Military" and "Maxo-safe & soft", to a private firm for commercial production under the "accelerated technology assessment and commercialisation programme' in collaboration with FICCI.

"This cream is based on a uniquely configured, researched and tested molecule which acts like a decoy and cheats the mosquito. It does not allow mosquitoes to sense the presence of human blood in their vicinity,' said DRDO chief controller Prahlada.

While basically developed for Army soldiers posted in far-flung insect-infested areas, the "powerful Diethyl Phenyl Acetamide-based repellent' will now be made available for the common masses. "Yes, high-tech systems are crucial but such things are also essential for our soldiers and others,' said a DRDO official.

The cream will fool the mosquitoes as well as have a pleasant fragrance and not block skin pores. "Its non-toxic, non-irritant, cosmetically acceptable, long-lasting and effective not only against mosquitoes but also other blood-sucking organisms like leaches, sand flies, horse flies,' he added.

The private firm"s chairperson M P Ramachandran, in turn, said, "The cream has been developed keeping in mind the requirement of soldiers posted in forest and swampy areas. These soldiers are always susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya and dengue.'

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