BADASS BUGS

Focus-Science and Technology - - Evolution -

No mat­ter how many antibiotics or in­sec­ti­cides we throw at na­ture, it al­ways smiles fondly upon genes that are en­dowed with re­sis­tance to th­ese sub­stances. That’s how in­sec­ti­cides like DDT, once com­monly sprayed upon in­ver­te­brates the world over, have led to the evolution of tougher bed­bugs. Bed­bug re­sis­tance to two com­mon in­sec­ti­cides, pyrethroids and pyrethrins, comes cour­tesy of just a single mu­ta­tion in a bed­bug gene. Nearly all bed­bugs alive to­day are the de­scen­dants of ear­lier mu­tants who car­ried the re­sis­tant gene, and have hence be­come ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to elim­i­nate.

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