Space Invaders

Per the CDC, Lyme disease infects around 300,000 people a year. Its vector, the deer tick—though hosts include rabbits, birds, and other wildlife—lives in an area that’s more than doubled in the last 2 decades.
Researcher Katharine Walter of Stanford University finds that part of the problem is the story we tell: positing humans as victims and ticks (or nature) in the role of invaders. She traced the bacterium’s origin back many thousands of years and found that human interference with nature has exacerbated the epidemic. “If anyone is an invader here,” Walter says, “it’s us.” Changing the story could help frame new responses.

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