Mutant Mosquitoes Lose Ability to Sniff Out Humans

May 29, 2013 6:04 PM

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Mutant Mosquitoes Lose Ability to Sniff Out Humans

Campers, take comfort: Scientists have found a way to genetically alter mosquitoes so they lose their preference for the scent of humans.

The pesky insects hunt down their hosts using odor cues, body heat and exhaled carbon dioxide. The mosquito species Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti strongly prefer human odors, and by targeting humans, they spread nasty diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

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