Tag : mosquito

    Study: Mosquitoes Possess Bizarre Sense Of Smell

    Inam Ansari
    August20/ 2022

    Washington: The findings of a study suggest that the unconventional way mosquitoes process odours could help explain why they are so good at finding humans to bite. The study was published in the journal Cell. If you've ever sprayed yourself head to toe in bug repellent, yet still felt like a mosquito magnet, it will come as no shock to you that mosquitoes are very, very good at finding humans to bite. One key factor in this superpower is their keen sense of smell, or olfaction, which relies on the olfactory system. "Mosquitoes are highly specialized," says Meg Younger, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of biology who studies mosquito olfaction. These relentless, buzzing creatures are designed to find us, bite us, use proteins in our blood to reproduce--and repeat. Mosquitoes, as much as they feel like a seasonal nuisance in the Northeast US, are deadly creatures that kill more people than any other animal in the world. Depending on where they live, certain types of mosquitoes transmit diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, dengue, eastern equine encephalitis, and others. And warmer, dry, and tropical climates battle mosquitoes all year long. Younger is working to crack the code on how mosquitoes use their sense of smell to track us in order to better understand how we can repel them more effectively. In a new paper Younger and her colleagues describe the unique and previously unknown way Aedes aegypti mosquitoes process smell at the biological level; their findings are a departure from the central theories that previously guided our understanding of insect olfaction. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes normally inhabit warm, tropical climates, and have caused minor outbreaks of dengue in southe ...

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