Breaking the Curse of the Mosquito

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | September 4, 2007 9:17 am

Last Friday I was with a friend who was attacked by a horde of rampaging mosquitoes, while the other people in the vicinity (including lucky me) were spared by the fiends. I was skeptical when she claimed that this was a common occurence, that mosquitoes especially like to bite her.

mosquito odor repellent

Now some research suggests it may well be true: Mosquitoes do in fact prefer the smell of certain people based on how much carbon dioxide, octenol, and other chemicals that they exude. The researchers behind this study say they want to make a better mosquito repellent by including some chemicals that will block the particular smell neurons they’ve identified. That could help not only mosquito-cursed folks like my friend Natalie but the millions of people who die every year from mosquito-born diseases.

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