Microscope

People who are easily disgusted by body odours are also drawn to authoritarian political leaders, says a research paper published in the Royal Society Open Science.

  • Published 19.03.18
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Nose for politics

• People who are easily disgusted by body odours are also drawn to authoritarian political leaders, says a research paper published in the Royal Society Open Science. This might come from a deep-seated instinct to avoid infectious diseases. A dictator-like leader can suppress protest and ensure a society that "reduces contact among different groups and, at least in theory, decreases the chance of becoming ill," says Jonas Olofsson, who is one of the authors of the study.

Gut and glory

• The midgut of a mosquito may hold the key to preventing mosquito-borne diseases such as zika and dengue, according to research published in PLOS Pathogens. The midgut is where the virus replicates and scientists have found a way to tweak the metabolic environment to stall replication and prevent transmission.

Bee scared

• Elephants are scared of bees and this fear is being used to protect crops from the behemoths. By stringing beehives every 20 metres - alternating with fake hives - a team of researchers in Africa has shown that they can keep 80 per cent elephants away from farmland. Recently, Lucy King, an Oxford University research associate involved with the study in Africa, found that Asian elephants too are afraid of bees. Perhaps these bee fences can be put to use in India as well.

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