"Buzz Feed" -- The Discovery Files
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Blood-eaters had more "odor-sniffing" genes. Flower-huggers, more genes that deal with light sensitivity. One set of traits better at sniffing out blood, the other for visually finding flowers. The vegetarian preference may have also evolved due to environmental factors -- including us. Our constant slapping and swatting. Some segments of the population went for a safer meal to survive. The researchers say a blood meal is like our Thanksgiving dinner -- it stresses mosquitoes' bodies and makes them slow -- more vulnerable. Evolution wise, not necessarily the best way to ensure survival. Next step: Find the triggers that could genetically turn off a mosquito's taste for blood. (Sound effect: mosquito buzzing) For now, we're still the main course. "The discovery files" covers projects funded by the government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you, by you! Learn more at nsf.gov or on our podcast.
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