Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 9:30am to 10:30am
How much science can you do with one lousy insect? Tons. As companions riding on humans through their evolution, lice reveal much about our species’ migration, evolution and history. But the blood of living and fossil lice doesn’t just carry the DNA of their hosts and their hosts’ microbiome; lice themselves are hosts to a shifting cast of endosymbiotic bacteria. Those rapidly evolving species provide precise molecular clocks for recreating events in primate evolution and interpreting the fossil record—while offering fascinating insights into bacterial and insect ecology and evolution to boot.