What do you do when you realize a tick is up your nose? Researcher discovers new species

tickby dr_relling

US biologist discovers new species up his nose after research trip to Africa 
[Via – Science – News – The Independent]

Tony Goldberg, a US professor of pathobiological science, recently returned from an Africa research trip only to discover that a potentially new species of tick had come back with him hidden up his nose. 

“When you first realize you have a tick up your nose, it takes a lot of willpower not to claw your face off,” said Goldberg, a professor at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. “But my sense of being grossed out was balanced by my scientific curiosity.”

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This is a story that only a scientist could love. He gets back from Africa, finds a tick up his nose, removes it, has its genome sequenced and finds out it is novel.

And he realized that this also happens with chimps, since none of the grooming effects involve the inside of the nose. Twenty percent of young chimps have ticks in their noses. So it could represent a novel way for tick-borne diseases to travel.

The reason no one had seen this before? ““It’s not really practical or safe to pick ticks out of chimps’ noses,” said Goldberg. “The chimps of Kibale are very well habituated to humans, but they would still object vigorously.”

How droll. Love his response.