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Web Date: March 13, 2008

Molecular Target Discovered For DEET Bug Repellent

Study finds that N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) blocks certain insect olfactory receptors
Department: Science & Technology

Since World War II, people worldwide have liberally applied N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, better known as DEET, to ward off blood-feeding insects, such as mosquitoes, that can transmit malaria and other diseases. But no one has known exactly how the most commonly used active ingredient in topical bug repellants worked until now.

Leslie B. Vosshall and colleagues at Rockefeller University report that DEET inhibits certain mosquito and fruit fly olfactory receptors (Science, DOI: . . .

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