Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

By Carl Zimmer

IN THIS REISSUED PAPERBACK variation WITH a brand new EPILOGUE, CARL ZIMMER finds the facility, probability, and sweetness OF PARASITES.

For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror tales, and the darkest shadows of technological know-how. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes readers on a ravishing voyage into the key universe of those impressive life-forms—which should not purely one of the such a lot hugely developed on the earth, yet make up the vast majority of life’s variety. touring from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled battle region of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of wonderful creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from inside, and regulate their habit. He additionally vividly describes parasites which may swap DNA, rewire the mind, make males extra distrustful and girls extra outgoing, and switch hosts into the dwelling useless. This accomplished, gracefully written ebook brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they could train us all concerning the so much primary survival strategies within the universe—the legislation of Parasite Rex.

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It’s most likely transmitted by way of mosquitoes that feed at the frogs,” Brooks defined. He pulled it out intact and dropped it in a dish of water. by the point he had gotten a dish of acetic acid (industrial-strength vinegar) to mend it in, the parasite had exploded right into a white froth. yet Brooks used to be in a position to get one other one out untorn and into the acid unexploded, the place it straightened out, able to be preserved for many years. That used to be the 1st of many parasites we checked out. A string of flukes got here out, like a writhing necklace, from one other vein.

Regrettably, by the point she was once performed with me, she was once no toward a house within the clouds. The dates fizzled for all of the a variety of purposes that dates fizzle. even though, one specifically nonetheless sticks in my reminiscence this day, over a decade later. i used to be sitting with a lady in a restaurant terrace on a hot evening in Greenwich Village. Surrounded by means of paper lanterns, we have been discussing what we did for a residing. She advised me approximately ads. I stated i used to be writing a complete ebook approximately how extraordinary parasites are. She attempted to alter the topic of the dialog.

Three “The substance in query can't be a malicious program …”: Quoted in Grove, 1990, p. 121. four “Some shoot forth horns …”: Quoted in Wilson, 1995, p. one hundred sixty. five The mysterious nature of parasites: See Farley, 1972. 6 “arches over them like a small, heavily close watch glass. ”: Quoted from Steenstrup 1845, pp. 57–58. 7 “An animal bears younger …”: Quoted from Steenstrup, 1845, p. 132. eight “It will be opposite to the clever association of Nature …”: Quoted in Farley, 1972, p. a hundred and twenty. For extra info at the discovery of tapeworm lifestyles cycles, see additionally Grove, 1990, and Foster, 1965.

Technology 276:1122–1125. Lavine, M. D. , and N. E. Beckage. 1996. Temporal development of parasitism-induced immunosuppression in Manduca sexta. magazine of Insect body structure 42(1):41–51. legislation, R. 1998. Symbiosis via exploitation and the merger of lineages in evolution. lawsuits of the Royal Society of London B 265:1245–1253. Leptak, C. L. , and J. H. McKerrow. 1997. Schistosome egg granulomas and hepatic expression of TNF-α are dependents on immune priming in the course of parasite maturation. magazine of Immunology 158:301–307.

But if the hookworm tears up a few gut and places it in its mouth, the blood begins to clot. each time a blood vessel is torn, it alternatives up molecules from the cells within the surrounding tissue. a few of these new molecules mix with compounds floating within the blood itself. those chemical compounds set off a cascade of reactions with different components within the blood, which eventually turn on distinctive cells often called platelets. The platelets swarm to the wound and clump jointly, whereas the cascade additionally creates a mesh of fibers round them, forming a difficult clot that prevents the bleeding.

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