Science: Siren's Song

A female mosquito attracts a male by humming that, to him, sounds very sexy. For years, mean-minded scientists have hoped to duplicate this mating call and use it for the disease-bearing mosquitoes' destruction.

Last week Dr. Morton C. Kahn of Cornell University Medical College reported that the dirty trick has been played, and that it works fine. Dr. Kahn, unlike Entomologist Hyslop (see below), is fiercely anti-insect. He went to Cuba and made a phonograph record of the song of a female Anopheles albimanus (a malaria carrier). Then he put a powerful loudspeaker in a buzzing Cuban swamp and surrounded it by...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!