How Mosquitos Sniff Out HumansWe know that mosquitos pick up clues that humans are around by detecting our heat, carbon dioxide shedding, and our scents. Human scent contains a lot of ingredients and varies from person to person, but mosquitos are very good at detecting when a human is around. For some species, their lives depend on it. And they've evolved a complex system to make sure they keep that ability. Scientists genetically altered mosquitos to erase an entire family of human odor-sensing proteins from their genes. But those mosquitos were still able to sniff out a human presence! On further study, they found out that the mosquito olfactory system is different from other insects, and indeed other animals. Normally, an olfactory neuron is armed with receptors to detect one kind of odor. It is only with billions of olfactory neurons that an animal can detect and identify a myriad of smells. But mosquito neurons have more than one type of receptor per olfactory cell. They can lose receptors and still detect clues that a human is near. While this may seem like a setback in the quest to disable mosquitos and prevent bites (and the associated diseases), it opens up a new frontier in research to develop bait for mosquito traps. Read what we've learned about how mosquitos smell humans at the Guardian. -via Damn Interesting#mosquito #olfactoryreceptor 
The Ten Scariest Creatures Seen Through MicroscopesThe world is full of living creatures we can't see. They outnumber us, and they can be terrifying. The reason we can't see them is because they are too small, and that's a blessing, because many of them would give us unending nightmares. Getting a look at them from a view through a microscope may be upsetting, but this is nature. If they could see us, they might be frightened as well. The creature shown at the top is a hydrothermal vent worm, ranked at #9, so you can imagine the horror that ranked above it. However, most are not all that ugly. They are included due to their danger to us, which may give you a case of the squicks, especially #2. -viaBoing Boing ​View the full list in the video clip below#microscope #insects #parasites #microscopicanimals #flea #glassworm #hookworm #mosquito #larvae
Mosquitonado: A Horrifying Tornado of Millions of Swarming MosquitoesForget firenado! The new horror is the mosquitonado, a tornado of millions of mosquitoes that’s happening in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far-eastern regions of Russia.In a viral video clip, swarms of millions of mosquitoes amass and swirl in giant pillars that look like tornadoes.Video clip: Russia No Context/Twitter​#mosquito #tornado #mosquitonado #insect #KamchatkaPeninsula #Russia #Siberia