There are little animals that live on your face and eat your dead skin at night. But that’s not the worst part.

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A few years ago, the worst thing that could happen from frequent kissing was chapped lips, or possibly mononucleosis. Just recently, however, scientists discovered that facial sucking takes on a whole new meaning when applied to tiny skin mites.

Our faces are as news to me as high-rise apartments Demodex folliculorum, A skin mite that lives in our hair follicles sucks out the tasty, sticky skin debris that accumulates inside. In that sense, I guess they’re like human killifish, invisible hitchhikers who live off the dead cells they scavenge.

If that’s not enough to unnerve you, imagine these little creatures slithering out of your greasy facial pores at night and crawling across your sleeping cup to commit adultery.

Unlike all other mites, male Hair follicleD. He has a penis in the middle of his back. It faces forward, like a small dorsal fin.The film’s sinister soundtrack jaw This sets the stage perfectly when the male dermestid appears in slow motion (which happens to be their top speed) beneath the female dermite and dances right under your nose. Literally, in this case.

Apart from the unfortunate details of these facts you now know, Hair follicleD. Generally it will not cause any harm to us. Although in some cases, people with immune imbalances may develop allergies to skin mites, scientists believe they may actually help us by keeping our pores open.

But I find it creepier than nocturnal mite sex on the back of the penis and face: There’s good evidence Hair follicleD. Eventually it becomes part of our face. A study published in the journal in June 2022 Molecular Biology and Evolutionby G. Smith and A. Manzano-Marín et al. Tell the world that skin mites are fusing their DNA with ours. That’s right – they are expected to become one with us. Yoda’s Jedi skills and Spock’s Vulcan mind-meld are nothing more than parlor tricks by comparison.

If there’s only one thing in the world you can eat, and you find a place that offers it for free, it’s logical that you might want to move in as long as no one complains.Dead, shed skin cells from humans are the only items listed Hair For them, dog dander is no good, and cat dander is not dandy. But while moving to an all-night restaurant makes sense, becoming a part of the restaurant itself is strange.

One aspect of skin mites that makes this fusion possible is that they possess a rudimentary genome, if not an actual skeleton.After countless generations of living without any predators or competitors in people’s faces (and to a lesser extent, in human breasts) and with food right outside the door, a comfortable lifestyle Hair follicleD. You allow it to be stripped of unwanted genetic material. For example, they only come out at night because somewhere along the way they lost the gene encoding a UV-protecting pigment. These guys are in the same boat as vampires as far as sun exposure is concerned.

Skin mites also go directly to the base where mobility is concerned. Their eight legs are clustered near the head and controlled by single-cell muscles. It makes me feel better about my skinny legs, each muscle must contain at least two cells. Hair follicleD. There are also fewer types of proteins in the muscles compared to other mites.

This is perhaps the strongest evidence yet for the existence of human-mite chimeras in the distant future: organisms like these have what is known as an incomplete life cycle. It matures in different stages, molting or shedding its skin as it moves into the next stage. Typically, there are more cells in each successive stage. However, our face-shaped friends do the opposite.

Not at all like Benjamin Button, as the intermediate (nymphal) stage is larger than the larval stage. But adults have far fewer cells than nymphs. To me, it’s just another one of their quirks.But to biologists, this suggests Hair follicleD. You have taken the first step in the evolution of becoming a symbiont within the human species, just as mitochondria did in our distant past. The main difference is that without mitochondria we would all be dead, whereas without mitochondria we would just have a little more acne. D. Hair follicles.

But don’t worry. Researchers point out that our long association with skin mites is evidence that they play a small but beneficial role in our lives. Years ago, we had no idea how important a strong and diverse gut microbiome is to our physical and mental health. Perhaps skin mites have other benefits yet to be discovered. There are mites.

The author, a former Cornell University Extension educator, washed his face more frequently after hearing the news.

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