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Your grandmother was right: Mosquitoes remember human smells, but also swats

Your grandmother’s insistence that you receive more bug bites because you are ‘sweeter’ may not be that far-fetched as a study claims that mosquitoes can rapidly learn and remember the smells of hosts. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US said dopamine is a key mediator of this process. Mosquitoes use this information and incorporate it with other stimuli to develop preferences for a particular vertebrate host species, and, within that population, certain individuals, they said. However, the study also proved that even if an individual…

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Genetically-engineered mosquitoes give hope against dengue

In a first, researchers have genetically engineered mosquitoes that have an increased resistance to infection by the dengue virus. After decades of research and countless control attempts, dengue continues to infect an estimated 390 million people around the world each year. Now, researchers report that mosquitoes carrying dengue virus (DENV) can be genetically engineered, giving an increased resistance to infection by the virus. When a mosquito bites someone infected with DENV, the virus needs to complete its lifecycle in the mosquito’s gut, eventually infecting its salivary glands, before it can…

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Limiting travel, controlling mosquitoes reduces Zika risk

Zika virus, dengue fever and chikungunya virus are increasingly common in the Caribbean Basin and Latin Americ… Read More To limit mosquito-borne illnesses, including the Zika virus, plan travel carefully, take personal protective measures, and control mosquitoes in and around the home, experts recommend. In most adults, Zika produces no symptoms or only mild symptoms like fever and rash. But children of women infected in pregnancy may be born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, which can be linked to seizures, intellectual disability, hearing loss or vision problems, and has…

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