Now I know why I’ve never had malaria

If you’re one of those people whom mosquitoes tend to favor, maybe it’s because you aren’t sufficiently stressed-out.

Insects have very keen powers of smell that direct them to their targets. But for researchers trying to figure out what attracts or repels the pests, sorting through the 300 to 400 distinct chemical odors that the human body produces has proved daunting.

…The researchers have identified a handful of the body’s chemical odors—some of which may be related to stress—that are present in significantly larger concentrations in people that the bugs are happier to leave alone. If efforts to synthesize these particular chemicals are successful, the result could be an all-natural mosquito repellent that is more effective and safer than products currently available.

From the WSJ.

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