if it was mosquito They have infallible nose to human beings They owe it to them nervous cellswhich is equipped with An excess system of receptors Able to perceive not onlyCarbon Dioxide That we send out with the breath, but also the different breaths Aromatherapy It emerges from our bodies. The study proves it published In the journal Cell by a research group led by the American Rockefeller University.
Results They rewrite our knowledge The olfactory system of insects makes us understand the difficult challenge that awaits us if we think of deceiving the smell of mosquitoes to prevent them from biting us and transmitting infectious diseases such as malaria.
“This research project really started unexpectedly when we were looking at how human odor is encoded in mosquito brains,” says Meg Younger of Boston University. Mosquitoes are attracted to both the carbon dioxide that humans exhale and human body odor. “But there is something magical about combining these two ingredients together: one plus one is not two but twenty,” the biologist adds.
To understand how these two signals combine and amplify in the mosquito’s olfactory system, making them particularly aggressive, the researchers used a genetic engineering technique. CRISPR for Marker with fluorescent proteins The nervous cells Those that have receptors for carbon dioxide and those that can perceive odor molecules in the human body.
And so they found it Each olfactory neuron Gifts Multiple classes of receptors, and not a single species as has always been thought similar to what happens in other animals (including humans). This is the original evolutionary strategy It is very beneficial for mosquito survival: having more types of receptors in each neuron greatly increases the ability to determine which prey to bite. Thus, deceiving such a nose is very complex,” but perhaps – says neuroscientist Christopher Potter, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – an alternative approach could be to flood the entire system with alternative odors. Now we have a more realistic view What we have to face.”
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