March 25, 2007

mosquito saliva

Filed under: Uncategorized — girlyswot @ 8:42 pm

I’ve just read an article in the New Scientist that says repeated exposure to mosquito saliva can boost a person’s immunity to diseases like malaria and could be used in the development of a vaccine. This is really exciting considering that millions of people die from malaria every year. But what surprised me most was that mosquitoes actually have saliva.

After a quick google I found that mosquitoes use saliva when they’re biting their victim. They slash the skin and insert the proboscis in search of a tiny blood vessel. The proboscis contains two tubes — one that withdraws blood, and one that injects saliva. The saliva contains anti-coagulants to keep the blood flowing and pain-killers so that the victim doesn’t feel the bite.

So now what I want to see is a vampire story where the vampires have a mosquito-like proboscis. But along with the anti-coagulants and pain-killers what else would a vampire inject?


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