Ticks: A real Halloween fright!

iStock_000014283149XSmallGuaranteed to give you more of a scare than ghosts and goblins this Halloween, check out the video below of a wood tick slowly imbedding its feeding apparatus into skin. It’s enough to make you seriously spooked! As someone who has suffered from Lyme disease more than once, ticks are especially scary for me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/science/earth/how-does-a-tick-do-its-dirty-work-research-video-offers-a-clue.html?ref=science&_r=1&

By looking at the mechanism of attachment through an electron microscope, researchers can see how ticks use a ratchet-like system to anchor its mouth into the skin, allowing the tick to hang on and eat for days without expending any effort.

Many insect adaptations can provide inspiration for new research applications. In the meanwhile, as gruesome as it looks, it’s fascinating to be able to understand how these insects are such efficient parasites! Can you think of a relevant application for this? I’d love to hear it!

For more information on Lyme disease, its symptoms and treatments, check out this link:

http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml

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