Blood-sucking body lice store mitochondrial DNA in 18 mini-chromosomes
Although generally despised, the blood-sucking human body louse, Pediculus humanus, has gained newfound popularity among scientists for a surprising genetic feature. Instead of carrying mitochondrial DNA in a single chromosome loop, the vermin splits this DNA among many chromosomes, making the louse an anomaly in the animal world, scientists report online March 31 in Genome Research.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.