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2019-03-06 08:19:18

By Debora MacKenzie SMELLY armpits are enough to stop malarial mosquitoes in their tracks, say scientists who are looking for ways to trap the insects. John Pickett’s team at the Institute for Arable Crops Research in Rothamsted, Hertfordshire, has found two chemicals specific to humans that affect the behaviour of Anopheles mosquitoes. It’s the first time any human-specific chemicals have been shown to do this. Certain African subspecies of Anopheles feed almost exclusively on humans. This makes them especially good at transmitting malaria, so Pickett’s team has been trying find which human chemicals they respond to. “Hygiene research has found that methyl 2-hexenoic acid,