Tuesday, November 20, 2007

mosquito magnet!

my wife and i never let go of an opportunity to pat ourselves on our back when we see one of our kids do something which we believe is a trait they have inherited from the 'self-back-patter'! nor do we miss an opportunity to rib the other party whenever there is some embarrassing or awkward trait noticed in our kids and are convinced that we ourselves had nothing to do with that particular trait. and we all know where that came from and all that!

well here's a bizarre one where both my wife and i have the same view, one of those extremely rare moments :-)

my daughter is a 'mosquito magnet', just like i am!

before she was born, if there was one solitary mosquito which was in the mood for some human blood sampling it would unfailingly find its way to some exposed part of my anatomy and proceed to go on a binge on my vital body fluid! the said mosquito would choose to ignore the presence of an entire brood of family members present in the vicinity at the same instant. i used to console myself by claiming that i was a 'pure blood' which even the discerning mosquitoes vetted! ('pure blood' of what species, don't ask me!)

and now i've noticed that our daughter is a better mosquito magnet than i can ever aspire to be. the solitary mosquito now makes a bee-line (shouldn't that be 'mosquito-line'?) for her. that explains the ever-present tube of mosquito repellent in our household.

till recently i thought there must have been something unique about me which makes us more attractive to the animal kingdom. (nonetheless, i would have preferred doves and cats and other representatives of the animal kingdom expressing their allegiance to a royal personage than just some measly mosquitoes!)

now medical science throws some light on this mystery. scientists believe that genetics account for about 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites. people with concentration of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface; people who produce excess of certain acids like uric acid; these are the people mosquitoes like best :-)

researchers are still trying to pinpoint what compounds and odours people exude that might be attractive to mosquitoes.

so next time the mosquitoes prefer you over the others in your company - blame your genes!

p.s. here's an interesting fact - mosquitoes have been around for more than 170 million years. basically tells us that they are not going to disappear in a hurry :-)


~nm said...

An interesting post! I had always wondered about this but never researched on it. Even I used to wonder if my blood is sweeter than others that the mosquitoes always prefer me over the others!

I know of someone whose husband used to call her his 'all-out'. He used to say if his wife is sitting near to him, he doesn't have to worry about mosquitoes ever :)

Guruprasad said...

A real well researched ONE. Well all these beings are the aborigines of this Universe. So we have to look at them as ourselves & live in harmony along with them.
Well coming to Mosquitoes, in way they help us to get some fresh blood by feeding on ours. BUT we have to pray to All-mighty, which should be always as a matter of fact, that HE make us IMMUNE from the Viruses which our ancesters ie.aborigines would pass on to us.
We as a civilised society KEEP the Environment clean devoid of breeding ground for them, we will definitely will have least botheration from the menace of the Mosquitoes.

suresh dixit

Swati said...

Ohh yes...even i have those bad genes and I am also called ALL OUT by my husband :(

Interesting post indeed!