Ticks—those unbreakable, blood-lusting arthropods that haunt your summer camp memories—have some fascinating genetic secrets. The tick genome tells a tale of weaponized spit, expandable armor, and how to drink 100 times one’s body weight in blood. Strangest of all, it’s utterly enormous.
30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most common vector-borne disease in America. Both you and your dog are exposed to it every time you’re outdoors. It can block your heart, cause intense pain and, sometimes, even lead to death. And reported cases are on the rise.
Written and directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson, the 2008 Academy Award-nominated documentary Under Our Skin explores and exposes one of our nation's most threatening and least regarded epidemic illnesses: Lyme disease.
The Western fence lizard was once believed to be our best defense against lyme disease. That's because ticks carry lyme disease, but lizards carry a lot of ticks. In fact, ticks are so enamored of lizard blood that they basically act as a buffer zone between humans and lyme disease - as long as the Western fence…