Protection From World's Deadliest Animal?

What a dream!  Make us invisible to mosquitoes?  It may just be right around the corner, according to a new study, as reported at newswise.com.

At a conference yesterday, the Web site quoted scientists, who "described discovery of substances that occur naturally on human skin and block mosquitoes’ ability to smell and target their victims."

Mosquitoes are more deadly to humans than any other animal (I would have called them "insect," but scientists know best, I guess). But their bites transmit malaria and other diseases that kill an estimated one million people around the world each year, newswise.com notes. "In the United States, mosquitoes spread rare types of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. They also transmit heart worms to pet dogs and cats."

And they're just plain annoying.  I happen to be one of those people who can go outside and be covered in bites in two minutes.  Years ago I was told it was the oil in my skin (I'm Italian), but recently I've heard it might be your blood type.

Writes Maggie Farzeli Fard at The Washington Post, "According to an article in Smithsonian magazine, an estimated 20 percent of people are 'especially delicious' to mosquitoes.. . They are bitten more often than others."

She says the article reports that research shows that they" find certain blood types more appetizing than others." Type O (that's me) is at the top of the list. "Additionally, about 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal that indicates their blood type; these 'secretors' are more prone to bites regardless of their blood type," she writes.

“Repellents have been the mainstay for preventing mosquito bites,” she quotes Ulrich Bernier, Ph.D., who gave a talk about mosquitoes at the conference. "We are exploring a different approach, with substances that impair the mosquito’s sense of smell. If a mosquito can’t sense that dinner is ready, there will be no buzzing, no landing and no bite.”

Oh, that would be heaven!  In the meantime, wear repellent (never mind the carcinogens in it!), and try to stay inside at dusk and dawn (yeah, right).  Experts also talk about wearing long sleeves and long pants but when it's 90 degrees outside, that makes about as much sense as spreading honey on your body to attract bees.


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