Follow-Up

A “perfume” to prevent disease

Early in 1999 John R. Carlson, Ph.D., the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, reported that his laboratory had identified 16 odor receptor genes in fruit flies (See “Researchers Discover Odor Receptor Genes in Fruit Flies,” Spring 1999). It was the first finding of such genes in insects. Carlson and his colleagues went on to find taste receptor genes in fruit flies and to identify the functions of specific odor receptors in mosquito antennae.Now Carlson’s laboratory is part of an international team that plans to harness those findings to reduce the spread of malaria, which kills 1 million people each year, mostly in the developing world. The female mosquitoes that spread...

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