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Feeding an Appetite-Suppressing Human Drug To Mosquitos Make Them Lose Their Attraction To Blood By Around 80%: Study - Slashdot

From Nature magazine: Female Aedes aegypti, like other mosquito species, feed on blood to get the protein they need to produce their eggs, and spread diseases such as dengue in the process. But once the mosquitoes have had their blood fix, they stop biting until they've laid their eggs several days later. Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist at the Rockefeller University in New York City, wondered whether she could hijack this biological process to switch off a mosquito's appetite.

Previous research had suggested that a mosquito's desire to feed is controlled by neuropeptides, molecules used by the nervous system to communicate. Vosshall and her team suspected that neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors might be particularly important, because they form part of the molecular pathway involved in food-seeking behaviour for many animals -- including humans. Some human appetite-suppressant drugs already target the NPY receptors, so Vosshall decided to take a "completely zany" approach:...(continued)

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