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New, improved LouseBuster kills head lice

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- An improved LouseBuster kills lice, but is less noisy, uses home electrical outlets and is less likely to get tangled in curly hair, a U.S. professor says.

Dale Clayton of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City says research shows the LouseBuster -- a chemical-free warm-air device introduced to the market four years ago -- can clear children of head lice and their eggs.

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"For a louse, it's like sticking your head out a window at 100 miles an hour; they're going to get dried out," Clayton says in a statement.

He is founder of Larada Sciences -- a university spinoff company -- that sells or leases the LouseBuster to schools, camps, medical clinics and delousing businesses.

The study, scheduled to be published in January in the Journal of Medical Entomology, found almost 95 percent of lice and their eggs -- nits -- were killed when the device was used on 56 louse-infested children and adults. The study used a revamped model -- less noisy, compatible with home electrical outlets, and less likely to get tangled in curly hair than the original LouseBuster unveiled in 2006 -- that is more suitable for private individuals, Clayton says.

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The LouseBuster prototype proved effective in a study published in November 2006 in the journal Pediatrics, but it was noisy, wouldn't plug into home electrical outlets and got tangled in curly hair.

The revamped LouseBuster has U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance as a medical device and was patented in September 2010, Clayton says.

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