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Some people can sit outside all summer long and not suffer from mosquito bites. Others turn into an itchy mess despite bathing in DEET and never leaving the purple glow of the bug zapper. What gives?
It's mostly about the invisible chemical landscape of the air around us. Mosquitoes take advantage of this landscape by using specialized behaviors and sensory organs to find victims by following the subtle chemical traces their bodies leave behind.
Mosquitoes - Pulses - Carbon - Dioxide - Concentrations
"Mosquitoes start orienting themselves to those pulses of carbon dioxide and keep flying upwind as they sense higher concentrations than the normal ambient air contains," said Joop van Loon, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Using carbon dioxide, mosquitoes can lock onto targets from up to 164 feet (50 meters) away.
Things start getting personal when mosquitoes get about 3 feet (1 m) away from a group of potential targets. In close quarters, mosquitoes take into account a lot of factors that vary from person to person, including skin temperature, the presence of water vapor and color.
Scientists - Variable - Mosquitoes - Person - Chemical
Scientists think the most important variable mosquitoes rely on when choosing one person over another are the chemical compounds produced by the colonies of microbes that live on our skin.
"Bacteria convert the secretions of our sweat glands into volatile compounds that are taken through the air to the olfactory system on the head of the mosquitoes," Van Loon...
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Why do democrats never have to face the reality of what's on the ground, like 2000 years of marriage.