Cannibalism, murderous bugs, face mites, and creepy clowns | Boing Boing

Cannibalism, murderous insects, face mites, and creepy clowns | Boing Boing

Gory Details is Nationwide Geographic reporter Erika Engelhaupt’s new guide in regards to the science of creepy, fascinating, and actual issues comparable to face mites (above), the caloric consumption of cannibals, the unpleasantries of earwax, and the psychology of coulrophobia. From an interview with Engelhaupt in Science News:

SN: Do you may have a favourite reporting discipline journey?

Engelhaupt: Most likely essentially the most enjoyable journey I did for the guide was going to biologist Rob Dunn’s lab at North Carolina State College to search out my very own face mites. There are two species of little eight-legged mites that dwell on all of our faces — and elsewhere on our our bodies, by the way in which. Seeing one thing that was residing in my pores squiggling round on the microscope slide — for me, there’s nothing extra enjoyable than that. I nonetheless hold photos on my cellphone of my face mites in order that I can present them to folks[…]

SNYou additionally write about a number of new scientific analysis. Any standout papers the place you thought, I’ve to jot down about this?

Engelhaupt: A research the place scientists fed totally different human bodily fluids to blowflies to see which of them the flies discovered tastiest. [The scientists] had been taking a look at how flies would possibly switch human DNA picked up from bodily fluids to totally different elements of a criminal offense scene. [DNA analysis] methods at the moment are so delicate that we’re choosing up DNA from fly poop. If the flies have beforehand eaten human blood or semen or saliva, there may be DNA from that individual that will get pooped out by the fly. That [DNA] would possibly get interpreted as blood spatter or get picked up by the way at a criminal offense scene and actually confuse the scenario. Who would have thought that it is advisable to research fly poop to research DNA at a criminal offense scene?

SN: I used to be certain you had been going to say the paper on the calorie depend of a human, from the chapter on cannibalism.

Engelhaupt: That is one the place it was a query I did not know I had till I noticed {that a} scientist had answered it. And people are a few of the sorts of issues that I wished to fill this guide with: You did not know you wished to know this, however I am hoping that now you are glad you do.

Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of Science (Amazon)

picture: All Species Wiki

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