Some people are more attractive to female mosquitoes And some less, but scientists were careful to eliminate the attraction of humans for mosquitoes; Did they succeed?
Over the course of the three-year study, eight participants were asked to wear a nylon leg warmer for six hours a day. This procedure was repeated daily for several days. Over the next few years, the researchers tested these nylons in all possible pairings through a turn-around algorithm-style “competition” on mosquitoes.
Why are some people attracted to mosquitoes?
Scientists used a two-option olfactory method that De Obaldia had made This experiment included a Plexiglas chamber that was divided into two tubes and each ended in a box, which housed the long leg cover. They placed Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes—the primary vector of Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya—in the main chamber and observed them fly from nylon to nylon in the tubes.
The most attractive target for Ades Aegypti was subject 33, who was four times more attractive than the other most attractive participants and 100 times more attractive than someone who was less attractive. Item 19.
The experimenters did not know which participants were wearing which nylons, so no samples were identified in the experiments. However, they found that in each experiment with the 33-mile case, something unusual was going on because the insects were being sent toward that sample. De Obaldia says:
This became apparent within seconds of starting our measurements. And it’s stuff like this that really excites the scientist me. This is a real thing and it is not a drill to put poppy seeds and it is a great work.
That said, the participants were categorized by low and high attractiveness, and then the scientists determined what objectively distinguished them. The scientists used chemical analysis techniques to identify 50 molecular compounds that were increased in the sebum (fat), the skin’s moisture barrier, in participants attracted to mosquitoes.
Also, the researchers found that the mosquito-attractive subjects produced carboxylic acids at much higher levels than the non-attractive volunteers. These substances are found in sebum and are used by bacteria on our skin to produce the unique smell of the human body.
To re-validate their findings, Wushall’s team enrolled 56 more people for another validation study. Once again, Topic 33 was the most interesting, and remained so over time.
Some people were studied for several years, and we saw that if they were a mosquito lover, they remained a mosquito lover. A lot could change at that time about that instance or their behaviors, but this trait was very stable. Di Obaldia.
Even the knocked out mosquito was attracted to humans!
Mainly, humans produce two types of odors that mosquitoes detect with two different sets of olfactory receptors: Orco and IR receptors. Researchers to investigate whether it is possible to engineer mosquitoes that Not able to recognize humanscreated genetic modifications that lack one or both receptors.
Mosquitoes with modified Orco olfactory receptors were still attracted to humans and were able to discriminate between attractive and less attractive items, but those with IR olfactory receptors that had been edited lost human attraction to varying degrees. , but they still managed to find us.
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These were not the results that scientists had hoped for. Voshal said in this regard:
“The target was a mosquito that had no preference for humans, or a mosquito that had a weak preference for all humans and could not distinguish sample 19 from sample 33. “That would be great because it could lead to the development of more effective mosquito repellents, but that’s not what we saw, and that’s disappointing.”
These results complement one of Voshall’s recent studies, published in the journal Cell, which show the redundancy of Aedes aegypti’s highly complex olfactory system. This is the danger that the female mosquito relies on for life and reproduction. Without blood, he cannot do both. He added:
“That’s why this mosquito has a 2-back plan for 1-back plan and a 3-back plan for 2 back-plan, and it’s attuned to these differences in the skin chemistry of the people it’s following.”
It is difficult to disable a mosquito’s scent detector, and this makes it impossible to imagine a future where we are not the number one dish on their menu; But there is a possible way: Manipulation of human skin microbiomes. If this is done, and marking the skin of a person with high attractiveness such as subject 33 with sebum and skin bacteria with the skin of a person with low attractiveness such as subject 19 should be able to create artificiality.
“We did not complete this experiment; Imagine if this experiment was completed, we could change the way they interact with sebum by doing a nutritional or microbiome intervention in which bacteria are placed on the skin and turn a person like subject 33 into a subject 19; But all this is only speculation.”
Voshal and his colleagues hope that this paper will inspire researchers to test other mosquito species, including Anopheles, malaria They do research. Voshall adds:
I think it will be very interesting to see if this is a universal effect.
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