Sunday, December 10, 2017

Big Picture Science for December 11, 2017 - With All Our Mites

Big Picture Science - With All Our Mites

ENCORE:  You are not alone.  You can’t see ‘em, but your face is a festival of face mites. They’ve   evolved with us for millennia.  And a new study finds that hundreds of different tiny spiders, beetles, and – our favorite - book lice make your home theirs.  But before you go bonkers with the disinfectant, consider: eradicating these critters may do more harm than good.  Some are such close evolutionary partners with humans that they keep us healthy and can even reveal something about our ancestry.

But then there are bed bugs.  Pests without redemption.  However, their newly-sequenced genome may help us end their nightly nuisances.  And of course some microscopic critters are deadly.  So when it comes to bugs: when do we accommodate and when do we attack?

Michelle Trautwein – Curator of entomology, California Academy of Sciences
Matt Bertone –  Entomologist, North Carolina State University
Joshua Benoit -- Insect molecular biologist, University of Cincinnati
Thomas McDade – Biological anthropologist, Northwestern University

This encore podcast was first released on 2/15/2016

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You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

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