Bedbugs, Scientists and Condoms

I have read an interesting story today called They Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists which I thought was an interesting article about bedbugs worth sharing for two reasons:

1. Condoms are used to feed bedbugs blood

Firstly I’d like to expand on my other uses for condoms articles such as cooking up a monster egg, condom light party or the Royal Air Force condoms. So now let it be known that researchers work with condoms to feed their little science projects with expired blood-bank blood. At least as long as it does not make people feel weird about actually using condoms:

Coby Schal of North Carolina State said he formerly used condoms filled with rabbit blood, but switched to parafilm because his condom budget raised eyebrows with university auditors.

2. Bedbugs are clean

A most baffling fact I learned reading the article is that bedbugs are thought to be disease free. That means whenever they bite a human being it’s annoying but they actually don’t pass any kind of diseases:

South African researchers have fed them blood with the AIDS virus, but the virus died. They have shown that bugs can retain hepatitis B virus for weeks, but when they bite chimpanzees, the infection does not take. Brazilian researchers have come closest, getting bedbugs to transfer the Chagas parasite from a wild mouse to lab mice.

Read the full story over at the NY Times.

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