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.
Among animals you don't want sucking sucking your blood, ticks are near the top of the list. These hemophilic arachnids don't just help themselves to your vital fluids, they are also host to nearly a dozen human pathogens including Lyme disease, which afflicted more than 24,000 people in 2011 alone, and the Rocky…