Science

Hate Mosquito Bites? Building Up An Immunity Requires About 15,000 Bites Per Year

Meet Steve Schutz. Some might say he’s very dedicated to his work. But others would call him downright crazy. You see Steve works in an insectarium, a place where mosquitos are born and raised. And to ensure its residents are well-fed and propagate, he serves up his bare arm once a week for dinner.

As a result, after a feeding the 50 red welts on his lower arm barely even register as a slight tingle since Steve has built up an immunity to the mosquito’s saliva. Over the past 12 years he’s been bitten over 150,000 times, since the warm fresh blood is basically what the insects feed on out in the wild. And it’s just a heck of a lot easier than preparing 50 tiny insect-sized baby bottles full of blood. But it’s all in the name of science, since the lab where Steve works studies the effects of pesticides on the bugs, to test if, and how quickly, they become resistant. [Contra Costa Times via Discoblog via Geekosystem]

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