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Latest Parasitology Stories

2009-11-16 14:13:16

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), the release of sexually sterile male insects to wipe out a pest population, is one suggested solution to the problem of malaria in Africa. A new supplement, published in BioMed Central's open access Malaria Journal, reviews the history of the technique, and features details about aspects of its application in the elimination of malaria. The supplement, edited by Dr Mark Benedict, who along with the other editors led the development of this technology at the...

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2009-10-29 08:48:02

Indiana University graduate student describes research studying populations of New Zealand freshwater snails that reproduce either sexually or asexually to determine if sexual reproduction offers advantages in parasite-rich environments Since Darwin's time, biologists have tried to understand the advantages of sexual reproduction. This is not trivial because there are clear disadvantages to sex. Unlike sexual organisms, asexuals do not need a partner to reproduce, they can reproduce clonally...

2009-10-27 12:55:05

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have identified the dominant odor naturally produced in humans and birds that attracts the blood-feeding Culex mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus and other life-threatening diseases. The groundbreaking research, published this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains why mosquitoes shifted hosts from birds to humans and paves the way for key developments in mosquito and disease...

2009-07-23 19:01:58

Extreme wet weather in some parts of the United States has caused an increase in mosquitoes and their bites, which can cause disease like West Nile. David Mizejewski of the National Wildlife Federation says since the pesky biters start life out as aquatic larvae in standing bodies of water -- as little as one-inch of water -- it's best to get rid of hot beds for mosquito reproduction. These include clogged gutters, flower-pot drainage dishes, play equipment, tarps and debris. A birth bath...

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2009-07-23 11:35:00

 The coevolutionary struggle between a New Zealand snail and its worm parasite makes sex advantageous for the snail, whose females favor asexual reproduction in the absence of parasites, say Indiana University Bloomington and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology biologists in this week's Current Biology.The scientists' report represents direct experimental evidence for the "Red Queen Hypothesis" of sex, which suggests sexual reproduction allows host species to avoid infection by their...

2009-07-15 13:33:55

Two UCSF research papers this week are marking major breakthroughs in the effort to tackle schistosomiasis (bilharzia), a tropical disease that infects more than 200 million people worldwide and causes long-term debilitating illness and occasional paralysis or death.One paper documents a multinational success, led by a team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, in England, in sequencing the genome of the Schistosoma mansoni blood fluke, which has taken nearly a decade to achieve,...

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2009-07-15 12:45:00

Information could lead to new treatments for schistosomiasisTwo international research teams have determined the complete genetic sequences of two species of parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a debilitating condition also known as snail fever. Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum are the first sequenced genomes of any organism in the large group called Lophotrochozoa, which includes other free-living and parasitic flatworms as well as segmented roundworms, such as the...

2009-07-07 11:27:35

What's so great about sex? From an evolutionary perspective, the answer is not as obvious as one might think. An article published in the July issue of the American Naturalist suggests that sex may have evolved in part as a defense against parasites. Despite its central role in biology, sex is a bit of an evolutionary mystery. Reproducing without sex"”like microbes, some plants and even a few reptiles"”would seem like a better way to go. Every individual in an asexual...

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2009-07-01 16:50:24

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that a drug commonly used to treat pets with parasites may offer hope in eradicating river blindness. Moxidectin, prescribed for dogs, cats, cattle and horses to treat parasites, shows potential to destroy the worms that cause river blindness, an infectious disease that threatens 100 million people, the U.N. agency said.  The condition, whose formal name is onchocerciasis, comes with debilitating symptoms such as loss of sight, severe rashes...

2009-06-16 20:39:03

A Chicago man got an unexpected side dish with his sushi at a restaurant in August 2006 -- a 9-foot tapeworm, researchers say. Anthony Franz is one of a growing number of people infested with a salmon tapeworm, the journal The Emerging Infectious Diseases reports. Dr. Felipe C. Cabello, professor of microbiology and immunology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, indicated the worm is not particularly dangerous. He said, usually, with this particular worm, it produces discomfort, some...


Latest Parasitology Reference Libraries

Pork Tapeworm, Taenia solium
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The pork tapeworm (Taenia solium), also known simply as a tapeworm, is a species of parasitic worm that is classified within the Platyhelminthes phylum. This species infects pigs and humans in many areas of the world including Africa, Southern Europe, Asia, South America, and some areas of North America. This species can cause cysticercosis in its larval stage, which is one of the major causes of seizures in humans. The pork tapeworm can reach an average body length between 2 to 3 meters, but...

Paragonimus westermani
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Paragonimus westermani is a species of fluke, or flatworm that is classified within the Platyhelminthes phylum. This species is abundant in South America and Asia and affects the lungs of humans and other hosts. It was first discovered in 1878 in Europe after two Bengal tigers died. In 1879, Ringer found this species in the lungs of a human. Manson and Erwin von Baelz identified the sputum and eggs separately in 1880, after which Manson asserted that a snail was most likely the worm's...

Echinococcus multilocularis
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Echinococcus multilocularis is a species of tapeworm that is classified within the Platyhelminthes phylum. It is one of a few worms that cause echinococcosis, a disease that affects many canid species including wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, domesticated dogs. Humans can also contract this disease. Adult members of this species can reach an average length of .2 inches, and like other species of tapeworm, its body is segmented by three proglottids. Its head, or scolex, is equipped with...

Trichinella spiralis
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Trichinella spiralis, sometimes known as the pork worm, is a parasite within the Nematoda class. It can be found in pigs, rats, humans, and bears. This worm causes trichinosis in humans, most often from consuming undercooked pork. This species is the smallest within its class, reaching an average body length of .16 centimeters. Females are twice as large as males, displaying a sexual dimorphism. The reproductive organs of females are unique to the species in that the front end holds developed...

Guinea Worm, Dracunculus medinensis
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The Guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis) is a species of roundworm with the Nematoda phylum. This species is once ranged throughout Asia and Africa, including the west coasts of Africa in Guinea. Although it is not present in this range anymore, the species retains its common name. It was identified in this area by Carl Linnaeus, who discovered the parasite in many merchants along the coast. Its scientific name was also given due to a large population in one area, called Medina. Dracunculus...

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Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.