Ticks are associated with plenty of diseases, from ehrlichiosis to Lyme disease. But perhaps the most relevant tick-borne illness this bug season is one carried by lone star ticks, whose saliva carries a protein that creates an allergy to red meat.
What's new: Scott Commins, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC Chapel Hill saw his first case of tick-related alpha-gal allergies in 2007, and documented two dozen cases in 2009. That number has since grown to more than 5,000. Now, he's working to develop a vaccine to cure the allergy.