Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to prevent brood parasitism by cuckoos -- From the fb Evolution page

How to prevent brood parasitism by cuckoos : Teach your unhatched chicks a password -- The Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, along with 40% of cuckoos is a brood parasite. They lay their eggs in the nests of another bird species, which will in turn often mistakenly raise the young cuckoo as their own. Research has explored the evolutionary arms race between cuckoos and their hosts for many years and has exposed an array of tactics each team uses to help their young win out, including cuckoos booting nest mates out & exploiting sensory biases in the host, hosts develop ways to detect foreign eggs & chicks, and both parasite & host changing the colour & pattern of their eggs. Now in a new study published in Current Biology, researchers from Flinders University in Australia have discovered yet anot...See More

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The good news is that we live in the temperate zone...

The good news is that we in North America live in the temperate zone, where (theoretically, at least) arthropod vectors die back on an annual basis, and thereby break the transmission cycle of diseases.  The not-so-good news is that that most folks don't quite appreciate the importance of mosquitos as vectors of serious viral diseases in the United States.

Here's an article posted July 15, 2012 in medpagetoday.com regarding La Crosse Virus --

La Crosse Virus surges in kids -- http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/33753

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tap water may not be so bad for you, after all.

Tap water may not be so bad after all:


One quote from the article:  The EPA regulates tap water, while the FDA oversees bottled. Yet FDA oversight doesn’t apply to water packaged and sold within the same state, leaving some 60 to 70 percent of bottled water, including the contents of watercooler jugs, free of FDA regulation, according to the NRDC’s report. In this case, testing depends on the states, but the NRDC found that they often don’t have adequate resources to oversee bottled water, in some cases lacking even one full-time person for an entire state.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shameless plug for a book written by my students.

By way of introduction to the wonderful world of parasites, I would like to promote a book written by the students in last year's senior-level Parasitology course:

"Don't Get Sick, Stan!" is a children's book about the importance of handwashing, drinking clean water, and avoiding contaminated food for good health. Stan, a 3rd grader, goes to school and encounters a virus, a bacterium, a protozoan, and a parasitic worm, all of which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. By taking simple precautions, he can avoid getting sick from these diseases. This book is appropriate for children in grades 3 through 6.

It is available in printed form, http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Sick-Stan-Alfredo-Colon/dp/1469944618/ref=tmm_pap_title_popover?ie=UTF8&qid=1341783025&sr=1-1 , or in Kindle edition, http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Get-Sick-Stan-ebook/dp/B008I6JQIU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1341783025&sr=1-1.