The mosquito smells, before it sees, a bloody feast

The itchy marks left by the punctured bite of a mosquito are more than pesky, unwelcomed mementos of a day at the lake. These aggravating bites can also be conduits for hitchhiking pathogens to worm their way into our bodies. Mosquitoes spread malaria, dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus, among others. As the bloodsucking insects evolve to resist our best pesticides, mosquito control may shift more to understanding how the mosquitoes find a tasty — and unsuspecting — human host. A team of biologists has now cracked the cues mosquitoes use to find human hosts.

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