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Posts Tagged "Parasites"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Tool use, Parasitic siblings, Facial expressions, Settlers, and Gaslighting

An eclectic collection from my ResearchBlogging.org column this week, but all well worth the read: At EvoAnth, Adam Benton wonders whether human ancestors may have mastered tool use earlier than we think. He shares research (containing admittedly scant evidence) that includes a nice discussion of the challenges of this data. Sarah Jane Alger of The [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: The Eve of Horses, Amusic Pitch Challenges, and Canine Parasites

Part of my online life includes editorial duties at ResearchBlogging.org, where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Each Thursday, I pick notable posts on research in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research to share on the ResearchBlogging.org News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP. Let’s get [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Cosmic Karma: Mosquitoes Have Flying, Blood-Sucking Parasites of Their Own

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In 1922, a scientist named F.W. Edwards published a paper describing a remarkable thing: a flying, biting midge collected from the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia that he named Culicoides anophelis. What made the midge was remarkable was the thing it bit: mosquitoes.

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The Artful Amoeba

Nematode Roundworms Own This Place

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The next time you find yourself becoming mosquito chow, remember this video: This is Strelkovimermis spiculatis — a parasitic nematode, or roundworm — casually escaping from an unlucky, soon-to-be-expired mosquito larva. The way this larva twitches as the nematode slithers out is gut-wrenching. You can still see the poor larva’s vitals pumping even after nematode [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

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When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to  accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this [...]

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Compound Eye

Ants and the problem of impostor mothers

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In honor of Mother’s day, I present a portrait of a Tennessee winnow ant with her mom. But wait! This scene is not as heart-warming as it may seem. This mother has a dark past of murder, impersonation, and trickery. To explain the story, I’ll start with a perhaps oversimplified observation about ant families. Ants [...]

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Culturing Science

A Natural History of Mistletoe

Mistletoe berries

Mistletoe is frequently spotted hanging above lovers’ heads in terrible holiday specials–but only during one month of the year. That makes it easy to forget that more than 1,300 species hang in forests year-round, parasitizing thousands of tree species around the world. Or, rather, hemiparasitizing, which means the plant is partially self-sufficient: it has its [...]

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Culturing Science

Don’t forget the parasites! Reevaluating the pyramid of numbers

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Just like astrophysicists seek underlying patterns in space/time, ecologists seek similar patterns in life on earth. And there’s one they thought they had pegged: the pyramid of numbers. The first known pyramidal of numbers was drawn by Charles Elton in 1927 to explain the flow of energy through ecosystems. Plants convert carbon in the air into [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Parasites that Cause Chagas Disease in Humans May Also Be Killing Tiny Australian Marsupials

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Why are the woylies all dying? Since 2001 the populations of these tiny Australian marsupials have mysteriously crashed by as much as 90 percent. The species, which had already been driven to near-extinction in the early 20th century, had been on the path to recovery after successful conservation efforts protected them from foxes and other [...]

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Guest Blog

The top 10 life-forms living on Lady Gaga (and you)

A new truth about Lady Gaga’s health has recently been revealed. She is covered in other life-forms—“her little monsters” you might call them. Contrary to statements otherwise in the media, these life-forms have nothing to do with Lady Gaga’s meat bikini. (For those who need the extra explanation, Lady Gaga is perhaps the most popular [...]

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Guest Blog

The worms within

Some of the worms and germs we’ve been warding off may actually keep us well. One solution, some scientists say, is to welcome them back I met William Parker just two days before World Toilet Day, an international campaign to break taboos about, yes, potties. It’s a subject not many like to talk about. The [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Complex Life Owes Its Existence To Parasites?

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Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth. Added together they suggest that [...]

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Observations

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Sharks and Seals

Bacteria, viruses and parasites from land animals such as cats, cows and humans are sickening and killing sea mammals. Scientists have been finding a daunting number of land-based pathogens in seals, dolphins, sharks and other ocean dwellers that wash ashore dead or dying, according to an article by Christopher Solomon in the May 2013 issue [...]

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Observations

Zombies Invade Google Campus

She looked perfectly normal. But what was she doing roaming around at night on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif? She’d been drawn out of her home, following the light, and now was taking mincing steps across a white bed sheet. Had she just taken “the flight of the living dead”? Was she actually [...]

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Observations

“Zombie” Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees

A heap of dead bees was supposed to become food for a newly captured praying mantis. Instead, the pile ended up revealing a previously unrecognized suspect in colony collapse disorder—a mysterious condition that for several years has been causing declines in U.S. honeybee populations, which are needed to pollinate many important crops. This new potential [...]

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The Ocelloid

From the surface of stinky mud: diatoms, their parasites, and other comrades-in-silt

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An advantage of having a, let’s say, ‘volatile’ memory is that you can sit back and do microscopy… on your own hard drive. When sampling is good, you have only so much time to deal with everything, so images accumulate faster than you can process them. The idea is that then soon after you take [...]

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The Ocelloid

Theileria gets naked and rides the spindle

Hijacking of the cell by its uninvited invaders is one of the coolest things in biology. Not only do these parasites leech off its food, they also ride along with the cell machinery itself — modifying parts of it for their own benefit, of course. Apicomplexans and microsporidia, obligate intracellular parasites during at least one [...]

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Symbiartic

Parasite Got You Tied Up in Knots? Call in Alexander the Great

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Have you decided on your Halloween costume yet? If you haven’t already put many hours into this year’s costume, you might consider a new take on the old standby: the zombie. But not your average bloody, bandaged abomination… and for the love, not a mustached, hipster kind of zombie (judging from the prevalence of random [...]

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