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Thread: Presentation on Parasites

  1. #1 Presentation on Parasites 
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    First time poster.

    I am college lecturer and every year my students pick a random topic for me to do a presentation on. This is for me to prove that if you use the proper skills you can research anything. To complete the task I have to get at least one primary source of information.
    With that in mind, one group has given me parasites as topic.


    As I only have a passing knowledge of them - as in they live inside a host - what would be some good areas for me to look at?

    Are there specific types?
    Do people have a "favourite" parasite?
    What would be the most cringe inducing parasite?

    Thanks in advance


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    If you have plenty of time consider having a look (listen?) at the "This Week in Parasitism" podcast. Normally each episode is devoted to one specific parasite. There are 44 episodes at the moment. There's usually a good mix of history, basic biology, life cycle stuff, pathology, and treatment discussed for each beastie.


    I quite like Toxoplasma gondii, purely because it is one of the most successful parasites on earth.


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  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    There is a parasite museum in Tokyo - I never managed to find the time (or inclination) to visit. Maybe your students will pay for a research trip?
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    A favorite as well as cringe-inducing (and complicated):

    Dicrocoelium dentriticum (the lancet liver fluke)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PB4SjX8QkA
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Since you have already received what seem to be good suggestions, I'll just ask if you couldn't do a piece on lawyers?
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  7. #6  
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    Thanks for the replies, I'll have fun tomorrow looking/listening to all that.

    On the flip side, another group have given me the children's show The Tweenies........so it's going to be a fun week.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Dont forget the long history of parasites, with fossils showing Miocene Kissing Bug parasites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triatoma_dominicana) Cretaceous Fungal parasites on other fungal parasites (Entropezites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and of course the Jurassic Dinosaur "fleas" (Pseudopulex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    Last edited by Paleoichneum; September 27th, 2012 at 02:12 PM.
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  9. #8  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    You might want to say something about: Helminthic therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And there is this, some good news about a particularly nasty one: Guinea worm disease poised to be eradicated within a few years | Global development | Guardian Weekly (although how that fits in with attempts to prevent species loss is a puzzle ...)
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  10. #9  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Parasite is a broad term and, morbidly, extremely interesting.

    I've always been fascinated by naegleria fowleri. A particularly nasty parasitic amoeba.

    To answer your first question, parasites are divided based upon their interactions with the host, usually related to their life cycle. I can't recall all the varieties, but some examples would be ectoparasites (live outside the host) and endoparasites (live inside). There are also social parasites like the cuckoo that lays its egg in another bird's nest only to have their offspring out-compete the native bird's chicks.
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  11. #10  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Flick, always remember, caps on the genus name and italics for the full name ;D thus Naegleria fowleri
    Last edited by Paleoichneum; September 30th, 2012 at 03:19 AM.
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    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    A favorite as well as cringe-inducing (and complicated):

    Dicrocoelium dentriticum (the lancet liver fluke)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PB4SjX8QkA
    That one is very, very cool
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  13. #12  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Flick, always remember, caps on the gnus name and italics for the full name ;D thus Naegleria fowleri


    But that's a whole TWO extra keys I have to hit...

    In this day and age, you should be satisfied that I'm spelling out entire words.
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