Mosquitos? Bite me!
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying no, really, because now we know what makes them tick. So to speak.
Experiments have shown that carbon dioxide is a mosquito magnet. Great--it's only what we all exhale.
But some people seem especially attractive to the little buggers. What's up with that?
Skin bacteria, say European researchers. Without bacteria, sweat just wouldn't pack any punch. And with the right bacterial mix, some humans create an irresistible odor bouquet.
In the lab, the team cultured six common skin bacteria and collected the fumes they released.
When they exposed human-loving African malaria mosquitos to the samples, two bacterial species were big crowd-pleasers: Corynebacteria and Brevibacteria. They're found mainly on human feet. But one type, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, didn't attract mosquitos at all.
That's probably because it's common in the environment, says the team--too common to lead mosquito noses--AKA antennae--anyplace useful.
I see a new product line in Avon's future: Skin-so-Pseudomonas. Watch for it!
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