Researching New York City's Bed Bugs
For decades, scientists have been mapping the genes of humans, animals, even fruitflys. Thomas Hunt Morgan began studying heredity and gene mapping (methods used to identify the locus of a gene and the distances between genes) in 1910, and since then his findings about genes and their location on chromosomes helped transform biology into an experimental science. These principles have been applied to help us find out how bedbugs are spreading through New York City.
It's no secret that NYC has it's share of bedbug infestations, but where and how are the traveling is key to understanding the epidemic and how to eradicate them. Bedbugs were basically eradicated from the developed world in the 1940's. But, with the growing amount of travel and movement among humans and their belongings, came a growing amount of these parasites. So Christopher Mason, a geneticist, and George Amato, an evolutionary biologist at the American Museum of Natural History, set out to find out how they are moving through Manhattan.