Tag Archives: mosquitoes

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scent

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scentTo understand the evolutionary basis of the mosquito’s attraction to humans, scientists examined the genes that drive preferences of two different subspecies. Their findings suggest that Aedes aegypti aegypti acquired a love for human body odor, a key step in specializing on people. More »

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Research shows combination of sensory signals draw mosquitoes in for a bite

Researchers used a genome editing technique to engineer a mutant version of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads yellow fever. The mutant was unable to detect carbon dioxide, and studies showed that this hindered its ability to detect a host, even in the presence of other sensory cues like heat and odor. The results can help inform the design of chemical repellents to block host-seeking behavior in both Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae, which spreads malaria. More »

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Mutant mosquitoes lose their appetite for humans

Scientists in Leslie Vosshall’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller used a genetically modified mosquito to show that a specific gene called orco gives the insects a strong preference for humans over other mammals, and that the insect repellant DEET uses this pathway to deter mosquitoes from biting. More »

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