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Do Mosquitoes Love You? Study Claims It's Because Of Your DNA

LONDON, UK (CBS) – If you find yourself a constant feast for mosquitoes during the summer, you'll want to read this.

A new study published in the journal PLOS One dispels myths about what you're wearing, eating and smell like. It turns out the pesky bugs might just go for you because of something out of your control: your DNA.

The research, which was conducted in Britain and is titled "Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes," looked at 18 pairs of identical and 19 pairs of fraternal female twins between 50 and 90 years old. All subjects were post-menopausal, "to eliminate the variation introduced by sex or phase of menstruation."

Through a series of trials, the scientists found that identical twins – who share the same DNA -- were more similar in their attractiveness to mosquitoes than non-identical twins were. That led them to conclude that genetic disposition rather than other factors plays a large part in how much the bugs are attracted to a person.

"Our results demonstrate an underlying genetic component to the human odour profile, a genetic difference that is detectable by mosquitoes through our odour and used during host selection," the scientists write.

Researchers say further studies are needed to determine which genes are responsible for the attraction and then to potentially develop a method of controlling diseases like malaria.

In the meantime, you'd better pack the bug spray.

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