Wednesday, September 09, 2009
I’m the first to admit that being an author has its downsides. It’s a hard field to break into, it often doesn’t pay as well as . . . say, a pizza delivery job, and if you’re lucky and do get a book deal, you have to live through revision letters. Trust me, they aren’t pretty. I hold many angry conversations with my editor about his revision letters. Some conversations he actually gets to hear. My husband generally hears the rest.
But every once in awhile something comes along that makes me say: I’m so glad I have this job. This time it was a paragraph I read about why mosquitoes are attracted to certain people. (I just figured mosquitoes were like men and had peculiar tastes, but apparently there is a real scientific reason.)
Here is the paragraph:
The researchers separated human volunteers into two groups—those who were attractive to mosquitoes and those who weren't. They then put each of the volunteers into body-size foil bags for two hours to collect their body odors. Using a machine known as a chromatograph, the scientists were able to separate the chemicals. They then tested each of them to see how the mosquitoes responded. By attaching microelectrodes to the insects' antennae, the researchers could measure the electrical impulses that are generated when mosquitoes recognize a chemical.
Note to guys who want to pick up women. These job titles will not impress us:
1) Test subject to see if mosquitoes prefer your blood.
2) Person collecting body odors of test subjects
3) Researcher who attaches microelectrodes onto mosquitoes' antennae
Yep, I love my job