Why do mosquitos bite people?


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#051 Rebroadcast

This week, Melissa and Jam begin a multi-faceted topic: mosquitos. Now of course mosquitos are insects, so studying them would mostly fall into biology. But there's a lot of chemistry here too. The first question, why do mosquitos bite humans at all? How do they find us, and why do they want to bother us? And perhaps more importantly, how is it related to chemistry? Let's find out.

References from this episode

  1. Mosquito Life Cycle - United States Centers For Disease Control
  2. Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Detect Acidic Volatiles Found in Human Odor Using the IR8a Pathway - Current Biology - Joshua I. Raji, Nadia Melo, John S. Castillo, Sheyla Gonzalez, Valeria Saldana, Marcus C. Stensmyr, Matthew DeGennaro
  3. Mosquitoes detect human sweat by sniffing for volatile acids - Chemical & Engineering News - Alla Katsnelson
  4. Multimodal Integration of Carbon Dioxide and Other Sensory Cues Drives Mosquito Attraction to Humans - Cell - Conor J. McMeniman, Román A. Corfas, Benjamin J. Matthews, Scott A. Ritchie, Leslie B. Vosshall

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