Volume 86 Issue 11 | p. 42 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 17, 2008

Molecular Target Discovered For Deet Bug Repellent

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 that can transmit malaria and other diseases. But no one knew 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: 10.1126/science.1153121). Previous work by other researchers had shown . . .

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