Deltamethrin is an insecticide that is commonly incorporated into bed nets to fight mosquitoes that carry malaria. But some mosquitoes have become resistant to it, making the nets less effective and increasing the risk of disease.
A possible fix? The microwave! Experiments by NYU chemistry professor Bart Kahr and colleagues have shown that heating up insecticides can rearrange their crystal structure, yielding new forms that may work better against mosquitoes. They started their research with DDT before moving on to deltamethrin, as Kahr explains in the video above.
Science News reported on this encouraging development to counter the problem of insecticide resistance.