HOUSTON — As cooler weather arrives, Texans may start to forget about the plague that leaves us itching and scratching most of the year. New research could help put an end to our monstrous mosquitoes.
The findings were published in the journal Cell. The researchers found some people are a magnet for mosquitoes because they emit a combination of chemicals that the winged bloodsuckers find irresistible.
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Every human has a unique scent profile thanks to different chemicals. The scientists at Rockefeller University found people with higher levels of certain acids are 100 times more attractive to female mosquitoes – the ones that bite you. The researchers also found that this attractiveness to mosquitoes remained steady over time, no matter how humans changed their diets or grooming.
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So how does this help us? While mosquitoes are annoying, they can also be deadly spreading diseases like yellow fever and Zika virus. The researchers behind this study say the information it provided could help them develop even more effective deterrents. By addressing the acids on our skin scientists could create a repellent that alters our scent profile.
Until then we will have to hope cooler weather keeps the buzzing beasts at bay.