Jasmine and orange scented bug spray?
Researchers at UC Riverside have uncovered how mosquitoes detect the insect spray DEET. This means that scientists can now identify the key compounds that repel these bugs — which could lead to a safer and more effective bug repellant.
The finding raised a question: “How can we leverage this finding and use it for the good of humanity?” The answer came from another researcher, who figured out how to use the new information about DEET detection in insects to screen a half-million chemical compounds.
The screening process turned up fewer than 200 compounds likely to repel insects. From this group, Ray and his team picked three that are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration as food additives. “One of them is present in plum,” he says. “The other is present in orange and jasmine oil. Some of them are present in grapes. And, as you can imagine, they smell really nice.”
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