The Research Project – Week 9, Florida Mosquitoes

Just in time for the start of mosquito season, the University of Florida has released its results on a study about why mosquitoes are attracted more to some people but not others.

Working with researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine the study found, for the first time, an underlying genetic component to how attractive we are to mosquitoes and this is likely to be caused by genetic control of our body odor.

A series of trials using 18 identical and 19 non-identical female twins showed that identical twin pairs were more similar in attractiveness to mosquitoes than non-identical twin pairs.

Senior author James Logan, senior lecturer in medical entomology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine summarized, “If we understand the genetic basis for variation between individuals it could be possible to develop ways to control mosquitoes better, and develop new ways to repel them. In the future we may even be able to take a pill which will enhance the production of natural repellents by the body and ultimately replace skin lotions.”

Anything that helps fight off pesky mosquitoes would be welcome in my opinion!

Here is the link to the article:

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