Parasitic Junk in Your Trunk
"The little monsters jump off the adult wasp host, and scamper over to a wasp nest’s nursery. There they use enzymes to dissolve their way into the larval wasps, drop off their legs, and get busy eating. They wrap themselves in an envelope of their own skin, and also make a blanket from their host’s skin tissue. And here is where things get really weird."
posted by dhruva
on Mar 17, 2014 -
How did hookworm infections
slow the economy of the postbellum South? Do body mites
play a role in diseases such as rosacea? Did fermenting
seal flippers in Tupperware instead of traditional containers increase Native Alaskan botulism rates?
is the blog of microbiologist Rebecca Kreston, who aims to explore the intersection of infectious diseases, the human body, public health and anthropology.
posted by emjaybee
on Sep 24, 2011 -
Who will volunteer to be our new Space Messiah?
In these selfish times, maybe a little good old-fashioned self-sacrifice in the name of space exploration is just what the doctor ordered to restore humanity's faith in scientific truth and reason. On the other hand, could this bold proposal somehow be connected to recent revelations about the potential influence of mind-controlling parasites on human culture, as discussed in this MeFi thread on toxoplasmosis
? Could it be that these little red guys from the sky
are actually martian invaders who've been the secret puppet masters behind the world's recent troubles all along, as they carry out their fiendishly clever plot to drive humanity to the brink of self-destruction just so we'll be desperate enough to willingly offer up one of our own in a gesture of symbolic heroism? Will our new astronaut saviour ultimately end up as nothing more than a quick snack for the unnameable horror that awaits on the surface of the red planet?
posted by saulgoodman
on Aug 4, 2006 -
According to estimates, about 1.5 billion people--about a quarter of the earth's population--are hosts to the Ascaris lumbricoides
parasitic worm. Ascaris worms can grow to be 18 inches in length, and use their host's windpipe and esophagus to migrate between the small intestine and the lungs. A single human host may support dozen of large worms, which can be contracted by contact with fecal matter, animals, or undercooked pork. Under some circumstances (the worms dislike anesthesia, for example) one or more worms may exit from the mouth (a horrifying image
), or the anus (one of the most disgusting images I have ever seen
, and not safe for work, obviously). Here, the removal of a worm is caught on video
Too disgusting to post? Almost. But 1.5 billion people have got these in their bodies right now. That's what's grosser than gross.
posted by washburn
on Mar 4, 2006 -
A worm that builds a home inside the human body, lives there happily until breeding time, then begins a journey to emerge from the skin and find a body of water to lay its eggs in. Although this may very well be a pleasant journey for the worm, for the human, it's an excrutiating one. And so we begin The Tale of the Guinea Worm
posted by Space Coyote
on Jun 14, 2004 -
Batten down the mosquito netting
In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. "
posted by Postroad
on Mar 18, 2004 -