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Insect receptor for sweat creates buzz

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10:07am, January 21, 2004

In many places, the drone of a nearby mosquito is more than annoying–it's dangerous. These insects transmit a variety of diseases, including yellow fever and malaria.

Scientists have now identified a protein that certain mosquitoes use to home in on human skin. This receptor, which resides on the surface of olfactory cells, senses 4-methyphenol, a molecule found in human sweat. John R. Carlson of Yale University and his colleagues reveal the finding in the Jan. 15 Nature.

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