At night, microscopic organisms gather on your face. But don’t panic! According to British scientists from the University of Reading, these mites Will be good for your skin. This is what they discovered thanks to First DNA analysis of house dust mitesPublished on Tuesday, June 21 in the magazine Molecular biology and evolution. (source 1)
These mites, also known as Demodex marsupial They are about 0.3 mm long and have a worm-like body and four pairs of legs. Found in facial hair follicleswhere they feed sebum It is naturally secreted by our pores.
By studying their lifestyle, researchers have observed that the mites become active at night and move between follicles to mate.
A symbiotic relationship with humans
Their nocturnal behavior is explained by their solitary presence. Actually, thanks Remains isolated in our poresthese little monsters no longer have No UV protection against the sun. They are also unable to produce melatonin, the chemical that animals use to live at night. If they manage to survive, that’s thanks The melatonin produced by our skin at nightfall.
So we are essential to Demodex’s survival, and that makes us feel good.
“The moths have been accused of many things,” he said. Dr. Henk BriggCo-lead author of the study. Their long association with humans might suggest that they might be Useful roles more simple importantfor example Keep facial pores open. (Source 2)
A species doomed to extinction
Despite this relationship with humans, Demodex is on its way to an evolutionary dead end, even extinction. Analysis of their genomes reveals that their genetic diversity decreases over the years, due toLess exposure to external threats Based on Confront other moths with different DNA.
In short, these mites can become symbiotics full and coming To blend with our skin.