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Posted Fri Feb 6 2009: from Entomological Society of America, via EurekAlert:
A natural, alternative insect repellent to DEET
Isolongifolenone, a natural compound found in the Tauroniro tree (Humiria balsamifera) of South America, has been found to effectively deter biting of mosquitoes and to repel ticks, both of which are known spreaders of diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. Derivatives of isolongifolenone have been widely and safely used as fragrances in cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, and paper products, and new processing methods may make it as cheap to produce as DEET.... Since "isolongifolenone is easily synthesized from inexpensive turpentine oil feedstock," the authors write, "we are therefore confident that the compound has significant potential as an inexpensive and safe repellent for protection of large human populations against blood-feeding arthropods."
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