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Why can't you just flick a tick? Because it attaches to you with a mouth covered in hooks, while it fattens up on your blood. For days. But don't worry – there *is* a way to pull it out.
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DEEP LOOK: a new ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.
Spring is here. Unfortunately for hikers and picnickers out enjoying the weather, the new season is prime time for ticks, which can transmit bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
How they latch on – and stay on – is a feat of engineering that scientists have been piecing together. Once you know how a tick’s mouth works, you understand why it’s impossible to simply flick a tick.
The key to their success is a menacing mouth covered in hooks that they use to get under the surface of our skin and attach themselves for several days while they fatten up on our blood.
“Ticks have a lovely, evolved mouth part for doing exactly what they need to do, which is extended feeding,” said Kerry Padgett, supervising public health biologist at the California Department of Public Health in Richmond. “They're not like a mosquito that can just put their mouth parts in and out nicely, like a hypodermic needle.”
Instead, a tick digs in using two sets of hooks. Each set looks like a hand with three hooked fingers. The hooks dig in and wriggle into the skin. Then these “hands” bend in unison to perform approximately half-a-dozen breaststrokes that pull skin out of the way so the tick can push in a long stubby part called the hypostome.
“It’s almost like swimming into the skin,” said Dania Richter, a biologist at the Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany, who has studied the mechanism closely. “By bending the hooks it’s engaging the skin. It’s pulling the skin when it retracts.”
The bottom of their long hypostome is also covered in rows of hooks that give it the look of a chainsaw. Those hooks act like mini-harpoons, anchoring the tick to us for the long haul.
“They’re teeth that are backwards facing, similar to one of those gates you would drive over but you're not allowed to back up or else you'd puncture your tires,” said Padgett.
--- How to remove a tick.
Kerry Padgett, at the California Department of Public Health, recommends grabbing the tick close to the skin using a pair of fine tweezers and simply pulling straight up.
“No twisting or jerking,” she said. “Use a smooth motion pulling up.”
Padgett warned against using other strategies.
“Don't use Vaseline or try to burn the tick or use a cotton swab soaked in soft soap or any of these other techniques that might take a little longer or might not work at all,” she said. “You really want to remove the tick as soon as possible.”
--- What happens if the mouth of a tick breaks off in your skin?
Don’t worry if the tick’s mouth parts stay behind when you pull.
“The mouth parts are not going to transmit disease to people,” said Padgett.
If the mouth stayed behind in your skin, it will eventually work its way out, sort of like a splinter does, she said. Clean the bite area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment.
---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science: https://www.kqed.org/science/1920972/how-ticks-dig-in-with-a-mouth-full-of-hooks
---+ For more information:
Centers for Disease Control information on Lyme disease:
Mosquito & Vector Control District for San Mateo County, California:
---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:
How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood
So … Sometimes Fireflies Eat Other Fireflies
---+ See some great videos and documentaries from the PBS Digital Studios!
Above the Noise: Are Energy Drinks Really that Bad?
It’s Okay To Be Smart: Inside an ICE CAVE! - Nature's Most Beautiful Blue
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KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science
---+ About KQED
KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.
Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.
#deeplook #ticks #tickbite
This site provides links to random videos hosted at YouTube, with the emphasis on random.
The original idea for this site actually stemmed from another idea to provide a way of benchmarking the popularity of a video against the general population of YouTube videos. There are probably sites that do this by now, but there wasn’t when we started out. Anyway, in order to figure out how popular any one video is, you need a pretty large sample of videos to rank it against. The challenge is that the sample needs to be very random in order to properly rank a video and YouTube doesn’t appear to provide a way to obtain large numbers of random video IDs.
Even if you search on YouTube for a random string, the set of results that will be returned will still be based on popularity, so if you’re using this approach to build up your sample, you’re already in trouble. It turns out there is a multitude of ways in which the YouTube search function makes it very difficult to retrieve truly random results.
So how can we provide truly random links to YouTube videos? It turns out that the YouTube programming interface (API) provides additional functions that allow the discovery of videos which, with the right approach, are much more random. Using a number of tricks, combined some subtle manipulation of the space-time fabric, we have managed to create a process that yields something very close to 100% random links to YouTube videos.
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.