Thursday, July 28, 2011

bad smell, good news

         via (I have chosen some well-manicured toes here, but can't recommend
        that you get too deep into google image results for foot cheese.) 

It's not every day bad smells get good press, but did you read the news of how the odor of stinky feet might be used to fight malaria? Fifteen years ago, a Dutch scientist discovered, by standing naked in a dark room and recording where he got bit by mosquitoes, that the bloodsuckers loved his stinky feet. Now Dr. Okumu, a Kenyan scientist working in Tanzania, has built on that discovery by developing the most effective footstinky blend of chemicals to lure mosquitoes, and he's working on incorporating the stench into an affordable trap.

I can imagine what this device might smell like (clipped big toenail times two thousand?), but will freely reveal the extent of my interest in stink and say that I would also be curious to actually smell one of the traps. In the meantime, if you're inclined to do something other than sniff your gym socks and toenail cheese, might I direct you towards Nothing But Nets? According to the Gates Foundation (one of the groups funding Okumu's research) a child under the age of 5 dies from malaria--a preventable, treatable disease--every thirty seconds. If you buy a net and let me know your address, I'll send you something that smells good in the mail.

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