Chan, L. et al.
To most people, mosquitoes are just a nuisance, but for David Meyer of the James Cook Institute in Cairns, Australia, they’re an obsession.
“But like, a totally healthy science-based obsession,” clarified Meyer.
Meyer is a urine scientist, not to be confused with urologist. He has been studying mosquito urine, claiming that testing it can provide early warning that these pests are spreading diseases such as West Nile . His colleagues, however, have their doubts.
“Sure. Screening for antibodies in the urine can indicate the presence of pathogens. Everyone knows that. But he keeps taking samples home with him,” said Russell Gilkes, a fellow urine scientist.
“It’s not like he has any of the equipment to study it in his garage,” said Gilkes. “Also, when he comes back after weekends, he smells an awful lot like mosquito piss.”
Meyer insists that his interest is purely professional, “Look. I’m just like every other scientist. I really immerse myself in the work. I bathe in it. Metaphorically. Also, people should be more impressed by the work I’m doing. Mosquito urine is really hard to collect. They’re very small creatures. It’s not like human urine. I mean… I can get that any Friday at the cl- y’know what? That’s personal.”
Gilkes remains unconvinced. “I don’t like to judge anybody for what they’re into… scientifically, but there are more important things we could be studying. For example, I have a great project where we can learn more about the health of eucalyptus trees by collecting koala urine.”
Meyer retorted, “Look, there’s validity to what he’s studying as well. But koala urine is so 2013. And if I were aroused by mosquito urine, which I am not because it would be weird, it’s certainly not nice of Gilkes to shame me for it. We don’t have to all be into the same thing. Sexuality is fluid.”
“Well, that’s one thing we can agree on,” Gilkes said. “Fluids are sexy.”