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Latest Parasitism Stories

2012-12-12 15:33:18

Long ago, when life on our planet was in its infancy, a group of small single-celled algae floating in the vast prehistoric ocean swam freely by beating whip-like tails, called flagella. It's a relatively unremarkable tale, except that now, over 800 million years later, these organisms have evolved into parasites that threaten human health, and their algal past in the ocean may be the key to stopping them. The organisms are called Apicomplexa, but are better known as the parasites that...

2012-12-07 16:36:43

A new study demonstrates for the first time how the Toxoplasma gondii parasite enters the brain to influence its host's behavior. This research was led by researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden publishes today in the Open Access journal PLOS Pathogens. The Toxoplasma gondii parasite causes toxoplasmosis. The parasite is common and infects between 30 and 50 per cent of the global population. It also infects animals, especially domestic cats. Human...

2012-12-06 11:14:31

How parasites remote control victims Parasites are unpleasant lodgers at the best of times, but there is one group of parasites that is particularly pernicious. These are the parasites that hijack their victims' nervous systems, reducing them to helpless zombies. 'The fact that parasites can so efficiently alter host behaviour is fascinating', says The Journal of Experimental Biology Editor Michael Dickinson, from the University of Washington, USA, adding, 'There is something horrifying...

2012-11-28 11:21:37

When herbivores such as caterpillars feed, plants may "call for help" by emitting volatiles, which can indirectly help defend the plants. The volatiles recruit parasitoids that infect, consume and kill the herbivores, to the benefit of the plant. However, such induced plant odors can also be detected by other organisms. A new study published November 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology shows how secondary parasitoids ('hyperparasitoids') can take advantage of these plant signals to...

2012-11-08 12:28:38

Researchers find a viral symbiont of a protozoan parasite increases virulence to the human host When humans have parasites, the organisms live in our bodies, co-opt our resources and cause disease. However, it turns out that parasites themselves can have their own co-habitants. Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical University have found that the pathogenicity of the sexually transmitted protozoan parasite Trichomonas...

Red Queen Or Red King
2012-09-24 10:52:18

In relationships based on mutuality, the number of individuals involved can determine the rate at which species evolve The relationship between species determines how rapidly they evolve. Parasites and their hosts coevolve more rapidly, and partners in a mutualistic relationship can evolve more slowly. But this view is obviously too simplistic. The rate of evolution in a mutualistic relationship does not depend only on the type of interactions, but also on the number of individuals...

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2012-09-04 18:54:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online You may want to start washing your hands after petting fluffy, because new estimates indicate that 350,000 people a year in the United Kingdom become infected with toxoplasmosis. The disease is spread by direct contact with cats, or eating contaminated food, according to a report by the Food Standards Agency. Only about one in 10 of the people who have become infected with toxoplasmosis have symptoms. "The biggest threat is...

One Extinction Leads To Another
2012-08-20 10:09:46

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online According to new research, when a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon tag along. Other scientists have previously submitted this theory, but a University of Exeter team has now carried out the first experimentation to authenticate it. According to lead researcher Dr Frank van Veen of the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, "Our experiment provides the first proof of something that...

Some Suicide Attempts May Be Blamed On Parasite
2012-08-17 15:24:09

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A parasite may be to blame for some suicide attempts, according to research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, lies in the bodies of 10 to 20 percent of Americans, but in most it was thought to lie dormant. However, it appears as though the parasite can cause inflammation over time, which produces harmful metabolites that can damage brain cells. “Previous research has found...


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
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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