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Science behind the mosquito bite

Scientists have discovered a naturally occurring ‘invisibility cloak’ on human skin that can block mosquitoes’ ability to smell and target their victims.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 11, 2013 01:39 IST
Ulrich Bernier

Scientists have discovered a naturally occurring ‘invisibility cloak’ on human skin that can block mosquitoes’ ability to smell and target their victims.

Ulrich Bernier, PhD, who is exploring a different approach towards the mosquito’s repellant, cited the pressing need for better ways to combat mosquitoes.

A person’s scent, Bernier explained, comes from hundreds of compounds on the skin, many emitted through sweat and others produced by bacteria. To identify which of these attract mosquitoes, Bernier and colleagues used a special mosquito cage divided by a screen. They sprayed various substances into one side of the cage, and documented the effects in attracting mosquitoes.