Monday, June 17, 2013

It might be useful to have stinky feet

We have done battle with malaria-carrying mosquitoes using insecticides, bed nets and drugs. Now, scientists say there might be a potent new tool to fight the deadly mosquito-borne disease: the stench from stinky human feet.

In a laboratory study, researchers found that mosquitoes infected with the tropical disease were more attracted to human odors from a dirty sock than those that didn’t carry malaria. Insects carrying malaria parasites were three times more likely to be drawn to the stinky socks.

The researchers sealed human volunteers into a foil bag to collect their body odor as they grew hot and sweaty. The odors were then piped into a tube next door, alongside another tube untainted by human odor. Afterwards, mosquitoes were released and had the option of flying into either tube. The insects buzzed in droves into the smelly tube.

It might take years for our scientists to figure out how to use this revelation to combat malaria. In the meanwhile, if you are planning a hike in the countryside or flat-boating in the Everglades, take along that friend with the tennis shoes no one can get within 10 feet of. When you take a break, tell him to take off his shoes, put his feet up and rest and relax. Then rest in the knowledge that any voracious little mosquitoes in the area will pass you by on their way to the aroma of a feast on his little piggy-wiggies.

Live Long and Prosper....

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