Today in Research: Bed Bugs Are Inbreeding; Climate Change Update

Discovered: how far cockroaches can jump, a lifespan myth debunked, glass half-full on cancer prevention and, yes, bed bugs get even more gross.

  • Bed bugs are winning. And they're even grosser than you thought. Most city dwellers have their own terrible infestation stories, so at this point it's hard to see how America's "bed bug" problem could get any more disgusting. "A team of entomologists led by Coby Schal and Ed Vargo of North Carolina State University studied the genes of bed bugs infesting three multistory apartment buildings in North Carolina and New Jersey and found very low genetic diversity -- meaning most of them were very close relatives," reported Reuters. As in: bed bugs are inbreeding. And some of them have been infected with a "superbug" germ. Sounds even more like a bad horror flick. [Reuters]
  • A climate change sign or maybe just an interesting fact about National Park attendance. Not all climate change-themed research needs to be scary to be interesting. Here's a study from UNC researchers that is tenuously linking earlier peak attendance at National Parks with what they guess is changing weather over the last 30 years. "For example, peak attendance at Grand Canyon National Park shifted from July 4 in 1979 to June 24 in 2008." They found the same pattern at other parks that "experienced significant increases in mean spring temperatures" (i.e. parks got warmer earlier during the past three decades). What does this tell us? Maybe nothing. There could be plenty of reasons other than changing weather patterns, as they concede. But, from the release, it appears that the team is just offering the study as a data point in a larger research vein. [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Health

Just In