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Latest Parasitology Stories

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...

Mosquitoes May Fly Well In The Rain, But They Fail In The Fog
2012-11-19 15:41:36

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers have determined that despite their amazing ability to fly in the rain, mosquitoes fail miserably while trying to fly in heavy fog. Scientists reported at the 65th meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics that just like airplanes, the blood-sucking insects are grounded when fog thickens. "Raindrop and fog impacts affect mosquitoes quite differently," Georgia Tech researcher...

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...


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
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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