Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Blood Alcohol Level

Today's WSJ reports the results of an important new study:

Beer and Mosquitoes: The body odors emitted after drinking beer attract malaria mosquitoes, according to a study in PLoS ONE. Female, blood-sucking mosquitoes guide themselves by sensing heat, moisture and smell. Researchers recruited 43 men living in the West African country of Burkina Faso and 4,300 mosquitoes. Using a contraption in which mosquitoes can fly down one of two differently scented tubes, the researchers found mosquitoes had no preference between standard human odor and plain outdoor air. Then, 25 of the men were assigned to drink a liter of low-alcoholbeer. Fifteen minutes later, the mosquitoes preferred the odor of beer drinkers to outdoor air by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.

Caveat: The study didn't determine whether beer consumption makes women more attractive to mosquitoes. Subsequent studies could clarify whether all alcoholic beverages, or just beer, increase mosquito attraction.

Two obvious conclusions come to mind:

1. If you're going into the woods, you should drink beer with high alcohol content.

2. Chicks (even mosquito chicks) dig men who drink beer.