The Checkup: New Pill Uses Your Body to Kill Bed Bugs

Researchers have found a way to eradicate bed bugs—but you have to let them bite you first.

• I’m happy to report that I’ve never had a bed-bug issue, but my sister was overrun with them in college, and it was awful. Even still, if someone had told her to take a magic pill and then offer her body up to the bugs for one last biting to exterminate them, I’m not entirely sure she would have done it. But that’s how a potential new treatment for the itchy, pesky insects works: a person takes a deworming pill, goes to sleep in his or her bug-ridden bed, then a few days later, after the bugs have done some biting, they all die off. The technique is called xenointoxication, which is basically a fancy way of saying that, as the host, you use yourself to poison your parasitic guests. New research shows it’s effective, and the New York Times—writing for a city that’s absolutely terrified of bed bugs, mind you—calls it a new “superweapon.” In a recent study, humans laced with deworming pills were able to kill off 60 percent of bed bugs after taking a single pill; the hope is that bigger or more frequent doses would be enough to eradicate entire bed-bug populations. So yeah, I guess it works, but a question still remains: Would you use your own body as a living, breathing, bed-bug poison trap?

• Which came first: obesity or high insulin? Conventional wisdom has typically pointed to the former, but new research shows that chronically high insulin, a result of too much overeating, might actually be the driver of obesitynot the other way around. Read more here.

• This is super cool. A new breast-cancer-screening technique offers a better picture of breast tissue with less radiation exposure. UCLA researchers led a team that developed the technology, which uses 3D imaging. Check it out here.