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Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
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ScienceShot: Stinky Feet Smell Sweet to Malaria-Infected Mosquitoes
15 May 2013 5:00 pm
To the malaria-carrying mosquito Anopheles gambiae (pictured), the stench of human feet is like the smell of a fresh-baked pie. A team of entomologists set out to see if the bugs were even more drawn to the odor when infected with the malaria parasite. Lead researcher and entomologist Renate Smallegange collected the smell using her own feet—with a nylon stocking that she wore for about 20 hours. She and her colleagues then exposed the stocking to caged mosquitoes, allowing them to land on it and poke it with their proboscises in a vain attempt to feed. It turned out that malaria-infected mosquitoes are about three times more likely to be attracted to the smell of human feet than their uninfected counterparts, the researchers report today in PLOS ONE. But the stink of human body odor comes from a soup of many chemicals, making it hard to tell just which odor the mosquitoes love. So the team plans to attach tiny electrodes to mosquito antennae, which they use to smell, and test them against individual body chemicals. They hope their findings will help scientists build better traps in the wild that will draw only infected mosquitoes.
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