NEW YORK (AP) – Scientists have mapped the genome of the New York bedbug.
And they did something more: They traced the nefarious pest’s DNA through every subway station in the city and discovered a big genetic diversity among the bloodsucking creatures.
Christopher Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medicine, says bedbugs on Manhattan’s West Side are quite different from those on the East Side.
The findings were published Tuesday in Nature Communications.
The New York team is not sure exactly how or when genetic fragments of bedbug colonies got into the subway, but they were traced using DNA that the critters left behind.
Geneticists say the next big step would be to use the new information to create more effective insecticides, and possibly better human blood thinners.