flies on a cherry

Anna Schroll

The sexy smell of dying

What if death smelled like sex? That’s how one fatal, parasitic bacterium lures its next round of victims, The Washington Post reports. After infecting vinegar flies, Pseudomonas entomophila causes them to pump out 20 to 30 times their regular amount of sex hormones, irresistibly attracting healthy flies to their feces—or their corpses, researchers report in Nature Communications. When a promiscuous fly tries to mate with a sick one, what should’ve been a moment of passion turns into a stealthy exchange of a lethal infection. 

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