3 Things You Might Not Know About the Arachnids That Live on Your Face
August 28, 2014 11:06 AM Subscribe
posted by RedOrGreen (25 comments total)
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- Everyone has mites.
- Humans host (at least) two mite species that aren’t closely related to each other.
- Mites can tell us about the historical divergence of human populations.
"If reading this
made your face a little itchy, rest easy. In an evolutionary perspective, humans and Demodex are old, old friends. You are in good company. And so are your mites."
Journal article: "Ubiquity and diversity of human associated Demodex mites
", Megan Thoemmes et al., PLOS ONE, August 2014. The species of these mites found on humans are arguably the animals with which we have the most intimate interactions. Yet, their prevalence and diversity have been poorly explored.... Within our samples, 100% of people over 18 years of age appear to host at least one Demodex species, suggesting that Demodex mites may be universal associates of adult humans.
This research brought to you by the National Science Foundation and NASA, probably because astronauts have mites too.