Scientists are often doing things that normal people would never dream of doing. Scientists may spend hours looking at a single cell, or they might mix dangerous chemicals together to create a whole new dangerous chemical. But one scientist recently took her research methods to a whole new level by allowing thousands of bed bugs to bite her! Scientist Regine Gries recently sustained 180,000 bed bug bites for the sake of science!
If you ask any New Yorker about bed bugs they will surely tell you that getting bed bugs is the most sure-fire way to ruin your sex life, lose your friends and pay a ton of money to have your apartment fumigated. Bed bugs will ruin your life, but many people aren’t even sure if they have them or not, because they will hide in the every nook and cranny of a house, from your old books to the seams of your mattress. This is exactly why Regine Gries allowed the bed bugs to bite her.
Gries and other scientists are working on discovering a method of detecting bed bugs earlier. This research has led them to some pretty gross stuff. They discovered that the bugs use a pheromone to tell each other where it is safe to nest. In order to isolate this pheromone the scientists had to collect literally thousands of samples of bed bugs’ feces and dead skin. From these samples, the scientists were able to create a trap that attracts the bed bugs, and keeps them around to be eradicated.
This promising new trap may save many of us from having to deal with bed bugs. So while we may hate our day job, we should all be thankful that our day doesn’t involve getting bit by thousands of bugs then collecting their feces and dead skin to create a trap that brings even more bed bugs! Or Does it?
What would you be willing to do for the sake of science?