Scratch That Itch

Scratch it good

Forest Damaged by Mountain Pine Beetle

Qyd (CC Licensed)

Itchy skin, dying trees, photosynthesizing slugs and more, in today's links.

  • Some very small insects are causing a whole lot of damage to the forests of the American west. We like the philosophical approach of "first damaged, first healed" that one man expresses, but that's probably just because we live on the East Coast.
  • It's not surprising that everything about sea slugs -- which basically look like gelatinous living leaves -- would be neat: a researcher has determined that Elysia chlorotica not only suck the chloroplasts out of the algae they eat early in life, allowing them to then live off of photosynthesis, they also acquire the algae's DNA, which becomes part of their own nuclear DNA.
  • The headline is a bit misleading for making it sound like a woman received a trachea built from scratch from her own stem cells, but it's still pretty neat that stem cells were used to build up a donor windpipe.
  • Not that it will matter too much if you're scratching right now, but not all itches are the same. (And this new research may make it possible for you to scratch less in the future.)
  • If you see somebody licking her arm and then sniffing it, you'll understand why after you take this quiz about weird body facts.