This is interesting: like mosquitoes "sniff out" of people

Almost all animals have a sense of smell, but mosquitoes can pick up human scents in several different ways. The scientists say understanding how mosquitoes’ brains process human odor can be used to prevent their not-too-pleasant bites.

The Guardian recounts a new study by researchers at Boston University, who note:

“Humans produce a fragrant cocktail of body odor, heat, and carbon dioxide, which are what mosquitoes use to locate “food.”

Most animals have a specific set of neurons that help detect each type of odor. Mosquitoes pick up odors in different ways. They use their brains and antennae for this. At the same time, even with the loss of one or more receptors, the ability of insects to detect human smell is not reduced.

The researchers admit that the backup system evolved as a survival mechanism. Associate Professor of Biology at Boston University Meg Younger, one of the lead authors researchHe speaks:

“Mosquitoes specialize in biting people because people are always near fresh water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs. We are, in fact, the perfect food, so the drive to find people is extremely strong.”

Yellow fever, malaria and other diseases can be spread through mosquito bites. Understanding how mosquito brains process human smell could be used to interfere with mosquito behavior and reduce the spread of these ailments. Younger explains:

“One of the main strategies for controlling mosquitoes is to attract them to traps. If we could use knowledge of how human smell is represented in mosquito antennae and brains, we could develop mixtures that would be more attractive to mosquitoes than we”.

Dr Elena Ryabinina of the Insect Neuro Lab at Durham University, who was not involved in the study, said:

“We already knew that mosquitoes are programmed to bite people, but this study tells us that their olfactory system is different, more complex than we thought. Interventions based on this new information could be very promising.”

Earlier, our publication said that experts explained, why do some people are highly attractive to ubiquitous mosquitoes. Paul Ettinger, a therapist at the London General Practice Clinic, notes, for example, that mosquitoes are attracted to large amounts of exhaled carbon dioxide: while doing gymnastic exercises, playing football or basketball, jogging.

By the way, the researchers found that the brain of mosquitoes consists of approximately 200,000 neurons. For comparison, the human brain has 86 billion neurons.



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