Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Athens Gives Rise to Super Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes better at hunting are springing up in Athens. Full article here.

Quick Summary:

  • In Athens, the cramped housing conditions and air pollution have led to 'super mosquitoes'.
  • The mosquitoes are faster, larger, and better at finding prey.
  • Normal mosquitoes can smell blood from 15-20 meters. The new ones can smell it from 25-30 meters.
  • The new mosquitoes can also see in color.
  • The Athens mosquitoes fly at 500 beats per seconds (bps), while normal ones have 350 bps.
  • The new mosquitoes are also 0.3 micrograms bigger.
  • The Athens mosquitoes have grown resistant to air pollution and insect repellent.
  • The burgeoning Athens population of 4,000,000 people has given the insect lots of food.

My $0.02: If 'super mosquitoes' have developed in Athens, it seems like that the race will migrate to other high population areas. One could easily fly onto a trans-Atlantic flight or one to Asia and *boom*. We have a world wide epidemic of mosquitoes much worse than the ones we already have.

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