Mar 10, PDF | Zimmer's Parasite Rex is an awe inducing and engaging survey of parasitology. Although the survey is not comprehensive, major. Jul 11, Download [PDF] Parasite Rex (with a New Epilogue) Inside the Bizarre World of Nature'sMost Dang. Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more.
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IN THIS REISSUED PAPERBACK EDITION WITH A NEW EPILOGUE, CARL ZIMMER REVEALS THE POWER, DANGER, AND BEAUTY OF PARASITES. Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer - IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction. IMAGINE A WORLD. Parasite rex by Carl Zimmer; 2 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Evolution, Host-Parasite Interactions, Parasitologie, Parasites, Parasit, Parasieten.
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. The question of sex intrigued another scientist named Curtis Lively. This Is Your Brain on Parasites: Share your thoughts with other customers. On the whole, a very good book that should interest anyone interested in natural systems and evolution, and parasites in particular.
One of the reviews of this book claimed it would change the way you thought about the world. That sounds like hyperbole, but after reading "Parasite Rex," I have to concede it's true. I'm about as lay as laymen come at least when it comes to hard science , and yet I found myself so spellbound by the descriptions of how various parasites operate, survive, and evolve, that I finally understood the passion of entomologists, which had always seemed so foreign to me. The author takes the lives of parasitic organisms and makes it into high drama,and sometimes high comedy, as in the case of a bug, that, in order to thwart predators who scent its droppings, has turned its derriere into a high-powered rocket launcher that fires its feces far away in order to throw parasites off its trail.
I remember a marine biologist once telling me that she wasn't interested in science fiction, because nature always outdid the imagination. This book is proof of that theory. Hats off to Zimmer. Highest Recommendation. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Easily understood narrative with just enough science and Latin to pique one's interest. The amount of research done by Mr. Zimmer and the difficulties he must have faced in doing so are remarkable and well represented in the book.
I'm reading it on Kindle, and enjoying every minute. It opened my eyes to a lot of things going on around me about which I had absolutely no knowledge. Long ago, I watched a PBS special about molds and mildews. Most of the documentary was about all the damage they do, and how they turn up in places like bagpipes and even jet fuel. But when they got to the mold called penicillin, and referred to it as the medical miracle of the 20th century, I pondered long on how the yuck factor can often mask a world we really need to get to know better, for our own good.
Thus, Zimmer's book found a prepared way in my mind. I still walked new yuck factor ground here, since your average parasite is a devious Einstein compared to a mildew. But I looked for and quickly discovered the same kind of insight, and even more ancient and important relationships, in this book. The zombie crabs,snails and ants, the genesis theories of sex and language, and the way parasites are hidden modifiers of the old "survival of the fittest" paradigm were eye-openers, as was the discussion of how sickle cell anemia is a byproduct of natural selection for the single sickle cell gene, brought on by the prevalence of malaria.
Along the way, the various hookworms and blood flukes have learned biochemical tricks that science still hasn't figured out, but will turn into blood thinners and anti-rejection treatments. And I learned that there is a parasitic fungus on insects, Cordyceps, that is the source of an important antibiotic called cyclosporin, which took me right back to my moldy epiphany long ago.
Spock Top Contributor: The book its an excellent review of the parasites among us. It also does not miss any key topics, although some of them it glosses over a bit. For example, the chapeter on how these criters beat our immune system could have been much better and more detailed, particularly as this was for me one of the key quesitons I had as I continued to read.
While we are told that basically it is too costly for organisms to proof themselves against even particular parasites, that was never explained in sufficient detail.
On the whole, however, it covers the important parasite concepts and the evolutionary twists and turns in the battle between parasites and their hosts, and responsibly differentiates scientific speculation from experimental fact. Perhaps the biggest flaw in the book is the lack of diagrams and its minimal number of photos. One of the coolest things about parasites is how gross they are and I wanted to see more of them.
Also the same parasites seemed to keep coming up as examples of everything. Perhaps there are only so many types of parasites so it just doesn't matter whether one discusses blood flukes of humans or some other animal.
But the book makes bold statements about how much more diverse parasites are than so called "free living" organisms, so it seemed a bit weird to continually be presnted with the "usual suspects" as examples of each of the parasitic principles. The writing is clear and well organized, but goes on too long and is repetitive in places. This would probably have been a better book if were 30 pages shorter.
But that's a quibble.
On the whole, a very good book that should interest anyone interested in natural systems and evolution, and parasites in particular. Within this strange book lurks many ferocious critters ready to eat your tongue, boil your blood, give you blindness, and hijack your body for their own sinister needs.
Zimmerman does a spectacular job writing about these creatures and the history of the sciences that study them. My only issue with this book is that sometimes the science can get a little hard to follow for someone who does not have a deep background in microbiology or parasitology.
In spite of his groundbreaking work. Lankester looked at organic life as a Christmas tree-shaped hierarchy. The branches below represent the development of other species. So now that science appreciates parasites as a complex life form worthy of study. His favorite example was Sacculina carcini..
Sukhdeo had the last laugh: Either way. To complicate matters further. In doing so.
Toxoplasma is programmed to not kill mice. Although its final hosts — i. In fact.. And sometimes.
Cats are quite picky. Just like animals fight off invaders in their territory. In order to survive.. Toxoplasma releases a molecule within its hosts that actually triggers the production of immune system T-cells. Although it seems paradoxical. The hornworm. Parasites do. This soup. Without these viruses.
Unfortunately for the hornworm. After a while. Some parasites can take complete control over their hosts.
Parasites can use genetically engineered viruses as weapons. As wasp larvae develop within the hornworm.
Remember the parasitic wasp from the previous blink? It not only infects hornworms with viruses that neutralize its immune system but also takes control over its behavior and metabolism.
These highly complex and slightly scary creatures sometimes have a huge influence on their hosts. For example. When a hornworm eats something. Male hornworms are born with large testes. While it might seem horrifying. Once taken over by parasites. But when it hosts wasps. But once infected by a parasitic wasp. The shorebird. When most people think of an ecosystem. Euhaplorchis eggs are released in bird droppings. These eggs then hatch inside the snails.
And yet. Lafferty determined that without the fluke parasite.
Once inside. For starters. The increased population would mean less algae. With all these different interspecies interactions.
Take the parasite Euhaplorchis californiensis. Entire ecosystems are influenced by the behavior of parasites. By pumping out powerful signals. Just imagine how difficult it would be to survive if it were thirty times harder to find a meal!
Whole Earth Review. Point Foundation. The American Biology Teacher. Newsletter of the American Society of Parasitologists. Parasite Rex Carl Zimmer ". Parasite Rex". Kirkus Reviews.
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