Parasites use their hosts. They use us. We are now learning to use them. The impressive-looking Pomphorhynchus laevis inspired researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital to design micro-needles, a better way to attach skin grafts.
“The unique design allows the needles to stick to soft tissues with minimal damage to the tissues,” Dr. Jeffrey Karp, the study’s senior author, said in a press release. “Moreover, when it comes time to remove the adhesive, compared to staples, there is less trauma inflicted to the tissue, blood and nerves, as well as a reduced risk of infection.”
- You have to hand it to the little monster, writes Slate’s Jason Bittel —it just revealed a treasure trove of biomimetic sucking technology. And that’s a heckuva lot more appealing than the other trick up its proboscis: The spiny-headed worm can use mind control to make its host commit suicide.