Teresa Schuessler

Teresa Schuessler is a Master’s degree candidate in the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences at Northwestern. Her research has focused on exploring ways to prevent autoimmune myocarditis, a type of cardiac inflammation in which the body’s immune system turns against itself to mediate damage to the heart. Her combined interests in journalism and science have been motivating factors in contributing to Science in Society. She eventually hopes to pursue a career in science writing. 

Content by Teresa Schuessler

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“It is most disgusting to feel soft, wingless insects, about an inch long, crawling over one’s body. Before sucking, they are quite thin, but afterwards become round and bloated with blood,” wrote Charles Darwin, on March 26, 1835, after spending an unpleasant night in an Argentine village. Some believe Darwin’s insect attackers were reduviid bugs, or “kissing bugs”, so called after their penchant for biting near the eyes or mouth. Reduviid bugs carry a single-celled parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi (T.