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Latest Parasitism Stories

2011-07-07 20:35:00

It seems we may have parasites to thank for the existence of sex as we know it. Indiana University biologists have found that, although sexual reproduction between two individuals is costly from an evolutionary perspective, it is favored over self-fertilization in the presence of coevolving parasites. Sex allows parents to produce offspring that are more resistant to the parasites, while self-fertilization dooms populations to extinction at the hands of their biological enemies. The July 8...

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2011-06-24 11:03:54

Biologists worldwide subscribe to the healthy herds hypothesis, the idea that predators can keep packs of prey healthy by removing the weak and the sick. This reduces the chance disease will wipe out the whole herd, but could it be that predators can also make prey populations more susceptible to other predators or even parasites? Biologists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered at least one animal whose defenses against a predator make it a good target for one opportunistic...

2011-06-07 19:25:17

Every year, 10,000 pregnant women and up to 200,000 newborn babies are killed by the malaria parasite. Doctors all around the globe have for years been looking in vain for a medical protection, and now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found the biochemically weakness of the lethal malaria parasite. With a grant of 15 million DKK (approximately 3 million USD) from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation and close corporation with two Danish biotech companies, the...

2011-06-06 11:00:00

PARIS and EVRY, France, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome engineering specialist, and VitamFero, a biotech company of the Genopole® portfolio developing new vaccines against parasite infections, today announced the signing of a research, development and licensing partnership agreement. This agreement will grant VitamFero access to Cellectis' proprietary meganuclease technology for the design and development of a new generation of living...

2011-05-19 09:36:00

SILVER SPRING, Md., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On May 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first test to help determine whether a pregnant woman or a person with swollen lymph nodes testing positive for toxoplasmosis, sometimes known as cat scratch disease, developed the infection within the past four months. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO) Toxoplasmosis is caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The infection can cause serious...

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2011-05-15 09:56:07

Researchers tracking the spread of Toxoplasma gondii "“ a parasite that reproduces only in cats but sickens and kills many other animals "“ have found infected wildlife throughout a 1,500-acre (600-hectare) natural area in central Illinois.The researchers also found dozens of free-ranging cats in the area, the Robert Allerton Park, near Monticello, Ill. Two years of tracking, trapping and motion-triggered night photography at eight sites in the park found no evidence of bobcats,...

2011-04-15 16:40:04

A safer and more effective treatment for 10 million people in developing countries who suffer from infections caused by trypanosome parasites could become a reality thanks to new research from Queen Mary, University of London published today (15 April). Scientists have uncovered the mechanisms behind a drug used to treat African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease, infections caused by trypanosome parasites which result in 60,000 deaths each year. The study, appearing in the Journal of...

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2011-04-14 09:50:35

New research reveals how biological arms races between cuckoos and host birds can escalate into a competition between the host evolving new, unique egg patterns (or 'signatures') and the parasite new forgeries. Brood parasitic birds such as cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts in an effort to trick them into accepting the alien egg and raising the cuckoo chick as one of their own. New research from the University of Cambridge has found that different bird species parasitized by...

2011-03-16 14:33:30

Fresh insight into the way the parasite that causes malaria reproduces could lead to new treatments to help curb the spread of the disease Fresh insight into the way the parasite that causes malaria reproduces could lead to new treatments to help curb the spread of the disease. Scientists studying the disease have found that upsetting the parasite's reproductive strategy could prevent infections from transmitting from person to person. Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford...

2011-02-25 19:16:47

NIH-funded study finds way to reduce transmission of malaria to humans Spraying malaria-transmitting mosquitoes with a genetically modified fungus can kill the malaria parasite without harming the mosquito, potentially reducing malaria transmission to humans, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, the study was led by Raymond J. St. Leger, Ph.D., of the...


Latest Parasitism Reference Libraries

Lancet Liver Fluke, Dicrocoelium dendriticum
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The lancet liver fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) is a parasitic worm that is classified within the Platyhelminthes phylum. It is thought to be native to over thirty countries including Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Iran, China, Vietnam, Japan, Ghana, and Nigeria, among many other areas. It is also found in South and North America and in Australia. It is typically found in cattle or other grazing species, so it is thought to prefer a habitat that supports these species. It is similar in...

Profilicollis
2014-01-05 00:00:00

Profilicollis is a genus of acanthocephalan parasites that are found in crustaceans and shorebirds. Profilicollis parasites use decapod crustaceans as intermediate hosts and species of shorebirds as definitive hosts. The parasite first develops in mole crabs of North and South America. After it infects a mole crab, it becomes dormant until the crab is eaten by a suitable bird, such as a Surf scoter or Herring Gull. Once the parasite has passed through the stomach of the bird, it develops...

Moniliformis moniliformis
2014-01-05 00:00:00

Moniliformis moniliformis is a species of acanthocephalan parasite that can infect humans, though it rarely does. Human infections have been reported in the United States, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria. It has been found in rats all over the world, and usually is found in cats, dogs and, in Poland, red foxes. Intermediate hosts are usually beetles and cockroaches. This parasite, like other acanthocephalans, does not have a digestive tract. It absorbs nutrients through the tegument (external...

Giant Thorny-headed Worm, Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus
2014-01-05 00:00:00

The Giant Thorny-headed Worm (Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus) is a species of acanthocephalan parasite found in the intestines of pigs and other hoofed animals, and can occasionally appear in humans and dogs. The eggs of this parasite are usually found in scarabaeoid or hydrophilid beetles and other similar insects. Worms of this species range in size from less than four-hundredths of an inch to over 15 inches. It causes enteritis, gastritis or peritonitis in affected hosts. While it...

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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.