Mosquitoes like my blood

Written by Khalil A. Cassimally

Continued from page 1
mosquitoes from detecting them. Another study, done earlier by Professor John Pickett and his team, showed thatrepparttar number of flies circulating around a herd depended on certain cows being present. Professor Pickett and his team discovered that unattractive – to mosquitoes at least - individuals gave out different chemical signals from other cows. To be sure about this fact,repparttar 105813 unattractive cows were removed andrepparttar 105814 number of flies botheringrepparttar 105815 herd did indeed increase. These ‘ordinary’ cows had not been camouflaged byrepparttar 105816 unattractive cows’ special ‘masking’ odour and thereforerepparttar 105817 flies were attracted torepparttar 105818 ‘ordinary’ cows.

After some other experiments, it was concluded thatrepparttar 105819 famous ‘masking’ odours were acting as repellents or as a cover up. This finding could lead to a new type of insect repellent. These would be both safer and more effective.

Next time you get bitten, just think thatrepparttar 105820 mosquitoes are not attracted by your ‘sweet’ blood but by your own odour.

Khalil A.Cassimally is the editor in chief of Astronomy Journal and Astronomy Journal Ezine. He is also the co-founder of the RCPL Astronomy Club. He is currently Senior Columnist at and Columnist for h2g2 The Post where he writes 'Not Scientific Science' column.

Staying Safe When There's Lightning Around

Written by Graham McClung

Continued from page 1

Unfortunatelyrepparttar effects of a non fatal lightning injury are often severe and long lasting - often life changing. They can include impaired mental ability and chronic pain.

But survival is better thanrepparttar 105812 alternative, and immediate first aid after a lightning strike is critical.

The first thing to remember is thatrepparttar 105813 injured person is not "live" - you won't get a shock when you touch them.

Secondly, CPR - cardio pulmonary resuscitation - should always be attempted ifrepparttar 105814 victim has no pulse or is not breathing. A lightning strike can stop either or both ofrepparttar 105815 heart or breathing.

Thirdly, medical attention is necessary, even ifrepparttar 105816 person seems to have recovered.

Reducing The Risk of a Lightning Strike

Many, if not most, lightning casualties are avoidable. The small but real risks can be minimised by making a few small sacrifices to your present enjoyment. The peace of mind you gain will make it worthwhile.

Firstly, move torepparttar 105817 safest possible shelter as soon as you are aware of an approaching storm. Careful observation ofrepparttar 105818 weather is a good guide, and lightning detectors are definitely worth considering, particularly if you are responsible for others such as a children's sports team or an outdoor work crew.

In most cases, once you can hear thunder you are withinrepparttar 105819 danger zone, and it's time to move quickly.

Now I know that almost every time an early move to shelter will turn out to be unnecessary, and you may not always get a warm reception for your course of action. But imagine repparttar 105820 alternative if half a dozen kids are injured or worse after a lightning strike during a soccer or baseball game.

The best shelter is a fully enclosed building, bearing in mindrepparttar 105821 easily avoidable risks associated with telephones, electric appliances and plumbing.

Next best is an all metal car withrepparttar 105822 windows closed - preferably not parked atrepparttar 105823 top of a hill or under a tall tree.

Probablyrepparttar 105824 third choice would be in a group of small trees - assuming there are taller ones around. Tall trees are high risk, as are isolated structures such as water tanks. Partly open sheds are of dubious value and offer their occupants little protection if struck.

Open spaces are dangerous places to be, and you should have plenty of time to move elsewhere. Beingrepparttar 105825 highest point in a large area is not a good survival strategy.

If however you have no alternative, look for a lower area that is not water logged, squat down onrepparttar 105826 balls of your feet, with your head down. Don't lie onrepparttar 105827 ground, and stay away from wire fences.

And once you are safe, just sit back and enjoyrepparttar 105828 show.

Copyright 2005, Graham McClung. A retired geologist, Graham McClung has had a lifelong interest in the outdoors. And where there's outdoors there's weather. He is the editor of, where you can find reviews and advice to help you choose and use your own home weather station. You can contact him by email at

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