Are you the one who always seems to get bitten by mosquitos while everyone else seems to be bite-free? Finally, there is a scientific explanation! Unfortunately, there is no solution – looks like you’re destined to always be Mr Mosquito’s meal.
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According to recent findings by UK and US scientists, genes play a role in how delicious we smell to mosquitos. The researched explained that “identical twin pairs who share the same genetics were more similar in their attractiveness to mosquitoes than non-identical twin pairs with dissimilar genetics”. The trait has a similar link to the genes that determine height and IQ. This suggests that genes make some (unfortunate) individuals more prone to being bitten. Are you one of those people covered in bites and always itchy?
You can thank and blame your parents for this problem! The chance of getting bitten is genetically-driven.
Previous findings suggest that it was based on differences in body odour or diet but there is no clear dietary explanation. But since body odour can be controlled genetically, the study explored whether the difference may have an underlying genetic component. And the results definitely correlated with more genetically similar participants – the identical twins – being bitten. Have you noticed that you and your siblings are bitten more than other friends?
However, in the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Webb from the Marie Bashir Institute of Infectious Disease and Biosecurity explains “the reality is that mosquitoes will bite when they get the chance”. So don’t think you’re off the hook, these bugs will still find a way to get you. But the study does explain why these little bugs like your blood more than your friends! Plus, it can hopefully aid in the development of better ways to control mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit.
Tell us, are you a constantly being eaten by mosquitos? Are you bitten more than your friends?