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Parasites

Analysis and Comment (12)

Parasites can infest any part of the body that has an opening to the outside world. Parasites can infest any part of the body that has an opening to the outside world. SBS

Life on Us: a close-up look at the bugs that call us home

Many microscopic bugs and bacteria live on our skin and within our various nooks and crannies. Almost anywhere on (or even within) the human body can be home to these enterprising bugs. Bugs affect us…
‘Kiss me under the parasite’ doesn’t have quite the same ring … ‘Kiss me under the parasite’ doesn’t have quite the same ring … Schnobby

Good parasite, bad parasite: nature has a job for everyone

Parasites are thought of as free-loaders, but many contribute as much as they take. They service the ecosystem. From an ecological perspective, they are more like tiny, hidden architects that are overlooked…
Inspiring aliens since 1979, Phromina means business. Inspiring aliens since 1979, Phromina means business. JesseClaggett

Meet Phronima, the barrel-riding parasite that inspired the movie Alien

Meet a parasite that can create its own mobile nursery for its young, a parasite that is thought to be the inspiration behind the chest-bursting xenomorph in the film Alien. Meet Phronima, the pram-pushing…
Balancing our body’s ecosystem with a parasite smoothie. Balancing our body’s ecosystem with a parasite smoothie. Prideandvegudice

Parasites harder to swallow, but we already take probiotics

Autoimmune disorders including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes, as well as chronic asthma and allergies are at an all-time high across the globe. Some…
This is not Naegleria fowleri, but it’ll do to put the horrors of climate change on your mind. This is not Naegleria fowleri, but it’ll do to put the horrors of climate change on your mind. Andrés Monroy-Hernández/Flickr

Brain-eating’ parasites are winners in the warming world

An influential US blog about climate change recently featured the story of a “brain-eating” infectious parasite that has caused 31 deaths in that country in the past decade. “Brain-eating” is just one…
Maybe not such a great place to go swimming. Maybe not such a great place to go swimming. Phanatic

Six human parasites you definitely don’t want to host

Parasites are fascinating. They are uniquely adapted to survive, in some cases through very complex life cycles. There’s also research to suggest that some may even change the behaviour of hosts to assist…
Falciparum malaria parasite carried by mosquitoes might be cerebral but has it been outsmarted? Falciparum malaria parasite carried by mosquitoes might be cerebral but has it been outsmarted? PA/Danny Lawson

New twist in age-old war against malaria parasite

Cerebral malaria, or malaria of the brain, means being deeply unconscious with perpetual cycles of seizures and spasms. It can cause death, or often disability. About 600,000 people suffer this terrible…
Getting infested children to sit still long enough to complete a treatment is probably more difficult than removing the head lice themselves. Getting infested children to sit still long enough to complete a treatment is probably more difficult than removing the head lice themselves. Vera Davai/AAP

Head lice infestations: don’t let back-to-school bloodsuckers drain your patience

Across the country, tiny blood-sucking parasites are settling in for the new school year. Head lice infestation, officially known as pediculosis, is common in primary school-aged children. But don’t worry…
Brain cancer and schizophrenia are the two most recent human conditions linked to Toxoplasma gondii. Brain cancer and schizophrenia are the two most recent human conditions linked to Toxoplasma gondii. shioshvili

Your cat has toxoplasmosis and you’re worried? Join the club

I should admit straight up that I’m no fan of cats. Like any zoologist I treasure the rare glimpses I have had of lions, leopards, serval and even ocelot. But I have never understood the devotion of so…
Bed bugs are among the souvenirs you could bring home from a trip to the London Olympics. Bed bugs are among the souvenirs you could bring home from a trip to the London Olympics. Armed Forces Pest Management Board

Will bugs bite at the London Olympics?

Travelling to the London Olympics? What do you expect to bring back? Some amazing sporting memories? A medal? How about some bed bug bites, or, worse still, a few bugs to kick off an infestation at home…
It’s all love and cuddles until the seven-year itch. It’s all love and cuddles until the seven-year itch. purplemattfish

Why do women have less body hair than men?

The question of why human beings have virtually no body hair – as discussed yesterday on The Conversation – has puzzled evolutionary theorists since Darwin’s Descent of Man (1871). It’s puzzling because…
Hair may be our last defence against things that go bug in the night. Hair may be our last defence against things that go bug in the night. M i x y

Shave tight? Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Writing almost 140 years ago in his book Naturalist in Nicaragua, the European naturalist Thomas Belt engaged in a lively debate about why certain breeds of dogs in tropical America were hairless. The…

Research Briefs (2)