Wood tick video takes a bite out of Internet audience

  • Updated: October 30, 2013 - 11:28 AM
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From left to right: wood tick, female deer tick and nymph of deer tick.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Jm - Star Tribune

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Despite an “ick factor” that is off the charts — or, more likely, because of it — a super-close-up video of a wood tick burrowing into human skin has become an Internet hit.

Shot through a microscope and accompanied by computer-generated renderings of what’s happening, the video shows a tick using two saw-like appendages to cut through the skin’s surface. The bug then uses barbs to pull itself in deep enough to reach blood and securely anchor itself to the host.

The video was included in a report on Lyme disease that was released Tuesday by the online journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The Royal Society is research organization based in London.

The lead researcher on the project was Dr. Dania Richter, a Lyme disease specialist at Charité University Hospital in Berlin. She says in the report that she thinks ticks are beautiful but concedes that her opinion might not be widely shared among the general public, especially after they’ve seen the video.

The video is available at http://tinyurl.com/m2qwk4q.

Jeff Strickler

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