Lindy joins Ira to discuss how mosquitoes have evolved to sniff out humans and how learning what chemicals they are attracted to could lead to new traps or repellents. The human scent is made up of a combination of 100 odor compounds. Not only are the compounds produced by a person but some are from their microbiome. These molecules aren’t unique to humans; other mammals such as guinea pigs also emit the same odor compounds—just in different blends. And even though human odor can also differ from person to person, mosquitoes can still distinguish the scent of a human from other mammals.
Lindy McBride speaks with Ira Flatow on Science Friday
July 17, 2019