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Investigatory Project Reflective Essay Sample

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Investigatory Project Reflective Essay Sample

Our country is now besieged by many crises. Nobody can deny the rampant effects of Dengue, Malaria, and Filariasis all brought by mosquitoes, to our community. Moreover, the rapid growth of infections brought by ants and cockroaches on skin and also on food. To solve theses problems, the researchers come up to seek an effective and inexpensive solution that will put end to these crises. Atis (Anonna Squamosa) is a tree 3 to 5 meters in height. Leaves are somewhat hairy when young, oblong 8 to 15 centimeters. The leaves contains Acetogenins, Alkaloids and Citronella Oil that contain properties that are harmful to insects. You can find this tree in a tropic country like the Philippines. Tuba-Tuba (Janthropa Curcas) is an erect branch shrub usually less than 1 meter high.

Leaves are shining smooth, palmately 3 or 5 lobed, 7-12 centimeters long, the lobes oblong-ovate and the younger leaves being purplish. Its leaves contains Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) which is a powerful insecticide.It is commonly found in waste places at low altitudes in the Philippines and native of tropical America. Cacao (Theobroma cacao.) has an average height about 6 m (about 20 ft) and has shiny leaves, as long as 30 cm (12 in), and small pink flowers on the trunk and older branches. It contains 4-hydroxycoumarins—used to kill insects, it is commonly found in tropical regions.

Statement of the Problem
This research project aims to produce a natural insect killer that can kill insects but don’t have any harmful effects to environment and to the humans.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following research questions:

1. Does the concentration of cacatuba insecticide affects its insecticidal property? 2. Is the cactuba more effective than the synthetic or commercial branded insecticide?

Significance of the Study

One of the greatest risks to our environment and our health comes from the chemical insecticides. In spite of this threats, the government continues its approval of the use of toxic chemicals in making insecticides. Moreover science is constantly developing variations of poisons. On the contrary, campaigns for sustainable development and utilization of green products are very much supported. The use of organic insecticides is one way to do away with insects and pest without posing harm since no detrimental chemicals are present. And the effect of the Dengue carried by Aedes Aegypti that can’t control by our government. Also, we are irritated to some insect/s like cockroach and ants so that we make this product named Cacatuba to decrease the number of mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study is limited only in making natural insect killer out of the extracts of cacao, tuba-tuba, and atis leaves. We want to investigate if these leaves can able to kill insects in a natural and unexpensive way.

A. About Atis, Cacao, and Tuba-tuba tree (Chemical Components)
The Atis (Annona squamosa) leaves yields an alkaloid, and chloroplatinate. Anonaine, an alkaloid, is found in the bark, leaves and seeds. Seed yields an alkaloid, neurtral resin, fixed oil. Seed contains a yellow, non-drying oil and an irritant which kills lice. The leaves, fruit and seeds are vermicidal and insecticidal. The unripe fruit is astringent, used for diarrhea and dysentery and dyspepsia. The bark is astringent and tonic. Roots make a drastic purgative. Leaves are emmenagogue, febrifuge, tonic Insecticide, antiovulatory, abortifacient.

The Tuba-tuba (Jatropa curcas) Jatropha curcas are all reported to contain hydrogen cyanide in addition to toxalbumin and curcin as active ingredients that can be an insecticidal against many insect pests. Cacao (Theobroma cacao) seeds, flowers and petioles have many chemical components such as alanine, alkaloids, amyl-alcohol, amylase, arabinose, arachidic-acid, ash, aspariginase, biotin, campesterol, carbohydrates, catalase, catechins, catechol, cellulose, chloride, cholesterol, copper, cyanidin, decarboxylase, dextrinase, ergosterol, fat, fiber, formic-acid, fructose, furfurol, glucose, glutamic-acid, glycerin, glycine, iron, isoleucine, kilocalories, lactic-acid, leucine, linalool, lipase, lysine, maleic-acid, mannose, nicotinic-acid, oleic-acid, oxalic-acid, palmitic-acid, peroxidase, protein, purine, riboflavin, stearic acid, sucrose, tannins, tartaric-acid, valeric-acid, vanillic-acid, vitexin, water, xylose.

B. What is Cacatuba?
Cacatuba is a natural insect killer that have been derived from the extracts of Cacao (Theobroma cacao) leaves, Atis (Annona squamosa) leaves, and Tuba-tuba (Jatropa curcas) leaves. This Cacatuba product is an effective insect killer that contains Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) from the tuba-tuba, Alkaloid Caffaine and Theobromine, in the Cacao leaves and Anonaine that have been derived from the Atis leaves that had been proven to kill insects.

C. Studies about HCN, Caffaine, Theobromine and Anonaine

Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN)

Hydrogen cyanide (with the historical common name of Prussic acid) is an inorganic compound with chemical formula HCN. HCN has a faint, bitter, almond-like odor that only some people are able to detect owing to a genetic trait. It has been used to kill insects in India (by the use of Jatropha curcas leaves). And it is also presented at the cigarette smoke.

Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug and a reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants.

Caffeine is toxic at sufficiently high doses. Ordinary consumption can have low health risks, even when carried on for years – there may be a modest protective effect against some diseases, including certain types of cancer. Caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on anxiety disorders. Some people experience sleep disruption if they consume caffeine, especially during the evening hours, but others show little disturbance and the effect of caffeine on sleep is highly variable.


Theobromine (theobromide), also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of thecacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is in the methylxanthine class of chemical compounds, which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. Despite its name, the compound contains nobromine—theobromine is derived from Theobroma, the name of the genus of the cacao tree, (which itself is made up of the Greek roots theo (“God”) and brosi (“food”), meaning “food of the gods”) with the suffix -ine given to alkaloids and other basic nitrogen-containing compounds. Plants produce alkaloids like Theobromine to keep insects and animals from eating them. Alkaloids (especially Theobromine) are natural insecticides. Anonaine

Anonaine, C17H1502N, was obtained from the bark of Anona reticulata L.by Santos .It was subsequently isolated from the seeds ofAnnona squamosa L.and shown to be identical with that originally obtained by Trimurti from the leaves. It melts at122-123″and has ‘-52″in chloroform. It was more thoroughly examined by Bargerand Weitnauer , who established the correct formula, determined its structure, and achieved a synthesis. Diagnostic reactions indicated amethylenedioxy group, thus accounting for both oxygens, and a secondarynitrogen. The N-methylanonaine mas obtainable by reaction with formicacid and formaldehyde, and Hofmann degradation via N-methylanonainemethiodide (m.p.217″)gave a methine base (m.p. 87-90″) and a vinyl phenanthrene (m.p. 87″) which on oxidation generated a phenanthrene-carboxylic acid which could be decarboxylated to what was evidently 3,4- methylenedioxyphenanthren. This Alkaloid is also used as an insecticide.

D. Study about mosquitoes
The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans. In feeding on blood, various species of mosquitoes transmit some of the most harmful human and livestock diseases. Some authorities argue accordingly that mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on Earth. They have a complete life cycle wherein it includes oviposition (eggs), larvae, pupa and adult. Mosquitoes can act as a vector for many disease-causing viruses and parasites. Infected mosquitoes carry these organisms from person to person without exhibiting symptoms themselves.

Mosquito-borne diseases includes yellow fever, dengue fever and Chikungunya, transmitted mostly by Aedes aegypti, malaria, carried by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles, Lymphatic filariasis (the main cause of elephantiasis) which can be spread by a wide variety of mosquito species, West Nile virus, and Tularemia, a bacterial disease caused by Francisella tularensi. Culex and Culiseta, are vectors of tularemia as well as arbovirus infections such as West Nile Virus. Subfamilies and Genera

Mosquito includes subfamilies Anophelinae and Culicinae. Anophelinae has a genera of Anopheles, Bironella, and Chagasia while Culicinae includes Aedeomyia, Aedes, Armigeres, Ayurakitia, Borachinda, Coquillettidia, Culex, Culiseta, Deinocerites, Eratmapodites, Ficalbia, Galindomyia, Haemagogus, Heizmannia, Hodgesia, Isostomyia, Johnbelkinia, Kimia, Limatus, Lutzia, Malaya, Mansonia, Maoregoeldia, Mimomyia, Onirion, Opifex, Orthopodomyia, Psorophora, Runchomyia, Sabethes, Shannoniana, Topomyia, Toxorhynchites, Trichoprosopon, Tripteroides, Udaya, Uranotaenia, and Verrallina. E. Study about Cockroach

Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattaria or Blattodea, of which about 30 species out of 4,500 total are associated with human habitations. About four species are well known as pests. Among the best-known pest species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 30 millimetres (1.2 in) long, the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, about 15 millimetres (0.59 in) long, the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about 15 millimetres (0.59 in) in length, and the Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, about 25 millimetres (0.98 in). Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives and ‘roachoids’ such as the Carboniferous Archimylacrisand the Permian Apthoroblattina were not as large as the biggest modern species. Cockroaches are generally rather large insects.

Most species are about the size of a thumbnail, but several species are bigger. The world’s heaviest cockroach is the Australiangiant burrowing cockroach, which can reach 9 centimetres (3.5 in) in length and weigh more than 30 grams (1.1 oz). Comparable in size is the Central American giant cockroachBlaberus giganteus, which grows to a similar length but is not as heavy. Cockroaches have a broad, flattened body and a relatively small head. They are generalized insects, with few special adaptations, and may be among the most primitive living neopteraninsects. The mouthparts are on the underside of the head and include generalised chewingmandibles. They have large compound eyes, two ocelli, and long, flexible, antennae. The first pair of wings (the tegmina) are tough and protective, lying as a shield on top of the membranous hind wings. All four wings have branching longitudinal veins, and multiple cross-veins. The legs are sturdy, with large coxae and five claws each. The abdomen has ten segments and several cerci. Here are some list of species of cockroach

Blattella germanica, German cockroach
Blaptica dubia, South American/Peruvian Dubia cockroach
Blatta orientalis, Oriental cockroach
Blattella asahinai, Asian cockroach
Blaberus craniifer, true death’s head cockroach
Blaberus discoidalis, discoid cockroach or false death’s head Eurycotis floridana, Florida woods cockroach
Gromphadorhina portentosa, Madagascar hissing cockroach
laxta granicollis, Bark cockroach
Parcoblatta pennsylvanica, Pennsylvania woods cockroach
Periplaneta americana, American cockroach
Periplaneta australasiae, Australian cockroach
Periplaneta brunnea, black Mississippi cockroach
Periplaneta fuliginosa, smokybrown cockroach
Pycnoscelus surinamensis, Surinam cockroach
Supella longipalpa, brown-banded cockroach

F. Study about ants
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae ( /fɔrˈmɪsɨdiː/) and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago anddiversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 out of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified.[3][4] They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like structure that forms a slender waist. Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist mostly of sterile wingless females forming castes of “workers”, “soldiers”, or other specialised groups.

Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called “drones” and one or more fertile females called “queens”. The colonies sometimes are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.[5] Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass.[6] Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.

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