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
Face mite results, per Michelle Trautwein:
"About the results- well, you both had 2 species of face mites- Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum (which is exciting...I don't get both species off of people very often. Of course, most people have both species, but they are tricky to sample).
originally aired February 15, 2016