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Posts Tagged "parasite"

Molecules to Medicine

Hurricanes, Poverty, and Neglected Infections

This week, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, is always a time for me for reflection on poverty and justice in America. Katrina brought focus to our country’s disparities and the response—or lack thereof—to disasters. And now, ironically on the anniversary of Katrina, Hurricane Isaac struck New Orleans again. Even prior to the Hurricane, in 2005, [...]

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Not bad science

Infested female crickets are less choosy in who they have sex with

the field cricket Gryllus lineaticeps with the parasitoid fly O. ochracea

In most animals, females are generally the ones that choose the males. This is a massive generalisation (for example, it doesn’t apply in this case), but I hope people who work on this topic will forgive me for it. Generally speaking, it’s the females that get to size up the males, check out whatever trait [...]

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Observations

Parasitic Worm Eggs Ease Intestinal Ills by Changing Gut Macrobiota

parasitic worm egg monkey colitis ibs

Intestinal issues are not just for us humans. Whereas the inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) now afflicts some 1.4 million people in the U.S., a similar condition often besets captive monkeys. But these animals are providing new insights about a cure for this condition in both species—and that cure is worms. Rhesus macaque monkeys living in [...]

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Observations

How Do Germs Get into the Swimming Pool? You Might Not Want to Know

cryptosporidium, infection, pool, swim

As the summer winds down and Labor Day weekend approaches in the U.S., beaches and public pools will be filling up with swimmers looking to take one last dip outdoors before the season ends. Most people will hit the water without worrying about the microscopic organisms they’ll be swimming with. Maybe that’s for the best, [...]

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Observations

Are Zombie Bees Infiltrating Your Neighborhood?

parasite flies and zombie bee

Zombie bees are not science fiction. They are real—and real threat to already-threatened U.S. honeybee populations. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in California and South Dakota have been observed acting zombielike, wandering away from their hives at night and crawling around blindly in circles. These insects have been rendered insensate by a parasitizing fly that lays eggs [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopuses Make Food for Weird Critters

octopus feed

Along with us humans, a range of hungry hunters prey on the scrumptious octopus. The boneless octopus must avoid becoming lunch for sharks, eels, fish and even killer whales. But not all of the organisms that feed on octopuses are such charismatic megafauna. Octopuses, both dead and alive, are part of the delicate, detailed food [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

No Shots for the Octopus, Its Immune System Doesn’t Remember

octopus immune system shots

Flu season is almost upon us, so millions of us are already rolling up our sleeves to get the annual shot. This jab is formulated to introduce our immune system to this year’s circulating strains of the virus so that it will remember how to make the specialized antibodies to fend it off the viral [...]

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Symbiartic

Playing What-If With Parasites

soldier-TLeung

Who could be better positioned for a bit of speculative biology than a parasitologist? Artist and parasitologist Tommy Leung has a mind for puzzling out species networks, and he puts it to – no other word fits – fantastic use when thinking up new creature-relationships. Brood Beast & Symbiomice is a detailed example of fictional [...]

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Symbiartic

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

13-046FEATURE

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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Thoughtomics

Hooks can be deceiving

pentastome

Every animal has its own parasites to worry about, but canivorous reptiles and amphibians have to deal with particularly gruesome ones. They can become infected with small, worm-like creatures called pentastomes that live inside their lungs, where they suck blood from ruptured blood vessels. Reptiles pick up the parasite when they eat infected prey. Pentastomes [...]

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