Do mosquitoes like you, or do they always go for your partner? Researchers from Radboud university medical center are testing this year at Lowlands Science who is the tastiest and why. They are taking thousands of mosquitoes to the festival on 18, 19 and 20 August in Biddinghuizen. So keep your arm next to the cage and see for yourself whether the mosquitoes enthusiastically fly towards your arm.
For the seventh time in a row, researchers from Radboud university medical center are participating in Lowlands Science. Felix Hol and his team are at the festival with their research project 'mosquito magnet'.
Project Mosquito Magnet
Some people are true mosquito magnets, while others are rarely bitten. At Lowlands, mosquito bites are mainly annoying, but in the tropics they bring dangers like malaria. The more often you are bitten by a tropical mosquito, the more you are at risk. What makes people (un)attractive to mosquitoes? Smell, behavior, diet? Little is actually known about this.
Researchers from Radboudumc are testing when mosquitoes become enthousiastisc. Lowlands visitors can test with two people at the same time who has the greatest appeal and thus turn it into a small competition. Through questionnaires and cotton swabs that are swabbed over the skin, the research team finds out what makes the winners irresistible to the tropical mosquito.
The mosquitoes remain in their cages during the entire festival. People keep their arm near the cage, but cannot be stung because there is still an air-permeable wall between the mosquito and the arm. The researchers use a camera to monitor how eagerly the mosquitoes approach the arms offered.
The research team includes Felix Hol, Maartje Inklaar and Sara Lynn Blanken.
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Lowlands Science is a popular part of Lowlands, where scientific research takes place during the festival. Every year, Lowlands, BKB and New Scientist invite scientists to submit a research proposal. In recent years, Radboudumc has conducted research into, among other things, resuscitation with VR glasses, the influence of alcohol on surgical skills, and how resilient people are.
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