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Aug 10

The strange thing about bedbugs

The NY Times had an article on bedbugs today which made the “Most Viewed” list. Bedbugs actually disappeared for most of last century, and then reappeared in the 90s.

But bedbugs, despite the ick factor, are clean.

Actually it is safer to say that no one has proved they aren’t, said Jerome Goddard, a Mississippi State entomologist.

But not for lack of trying. South African researchers have fed them blood with the AIDS virus, but the virus died. They have shown that bugs can retain hepatitis B virus for weeks, but when they bite chimpanzees, the infection does not take. Brazilian researchers have come closest, getting bedbugs to transfer the Chagas parasite from a wild mouse to lab mice.

“Someday, somebody may come along with a better experiment,” Dr. Goddard said.

  7:38pm  •  Science & Technology  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment

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