Friday, December 16, 2011

Detecting bugs: Why humans have body hair

New research suggests that the nearly-invisible hairs covering the human body may help us sense the presence of bedbugs

Why is the human body covered in tiny, nearly-invisible hairs? New research from the University of Sheffield in Britain suggests that the fine hairs help the skin detect bloodsucking parasites — including bedbugs. Here's what you should know:

We're covered in tiny, nearly-invisible hairs?
There's body hair and then there's body hair. At first glance, seemingly smooth portions of the human body appear hairless. But that's not the case at all. "Per square centimeter, human skin has as many hair follicles as that of the other great apes," notes The Economist. "The difference," really, isn't in the number of hairs, but rather "in the fineness of the hair that grows from those follicles."



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