A multinational research team, led by Dr. L. J. Zwiebel of Vanderbilt University, has identified new compounds with potential as insect repellents. These compounds work by capitalizing on knowledge of how insect odorant receptors detect and respond to scents. Medicinal chemistry efforts have yielded a number of novel compounds that could short-circuit the insect olfactory system, essentially by over-stimulation, to effectively mask attractive odors. These compounds could be used to repel nuisance and disease-carrying insects away from humans and animals, as well as repel agricultural pests from crops or food storage facilities. Vanderbilt University is seeking commercial partners to develop the technology for agricultural uses.