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In The Dark Woods Of New England, Shedding Light On A Public Health Crisis

Ixodes scapularis, a blacklegged tick known to spread lyme disease in the northeastern regions of the United States. Photo by Macroscopic Solutions/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

 Tune in for S cience Friday today between 2-4pm to hear how scientists are racing the clock to learn more about the bacterium carried by the blacklegged tick.If you live in some of the more bucolic areas of New England or the upper Midwest you probably know that the price of living so close to nature is ticks carrying Lyme Disease. States like New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts are ground zero for a Lyme Disease epidemic that has been in full swing for several decades now. And despite the fact that tick borne disease is so familiar to people who live in these areas, most of us don’t know as much as we think we do about the nature of Lyme Disease.[ These scientists take a closer look at Lyme Disease under the microscope.]Dr. Felicia Keesing, Associate Professor of Biology at Bard College explains why the complicated species interactions between ticks, mice, deer and humans make Lyme DIsease an especially challenging crisis to control. She is joined by Dr. John Aucott, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Lyme Disease Research Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who discusses his work studying the way Lyme Disease affects people.