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image: The Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse

The Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse

By | September 18, 2013

Toxoplasma gondii seems to cause hard-wired changes in the brains of mice that persist even after the parasite is gone.


image: Animal Mind Control

Animal Mind Control

By | January 1, 2012

Examples of parasites that manipulate the behavior of their hosts are not hard to come by, but scientists have only recently begun to understand how they induce such dramatic changes.


image: Opinion: Reducing Foodborne Illness

Opinion: Reducing Foodborne Illness

By | August 22, 2011

New testing technologies and improved communication among regulatory agencies are making strides in the fight against foodborne disease.


image: Parasite Spurs Rat Sexual Frenzy

Parasite Spurs Rat Sexual Frenzy

By | August 19, 2011

The parasite Toxoplasma gondii furthers its transmission by making rats go wild for the scent of cat urine.


RNA Arms Race

By | August 1, 2010

Mohamed-Ali Hakimi and Robert Ménard RNA Arms Race Do parasites use their own microRNAs to hijack host cell pathways? Red blood cells infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. GARY D. GAUGLER / PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC. RNA silencing, which fine tunes up to 30% of genome during development,1 also plays a major role in innate antiviral and antibacterial defenses in plants, insects, and animals. But


Litter bug

By | July 1, 2010

By Tia Ghose Litter bug Toxoplasma gondii protozoan, colored transmission electron micrograph (TEM) © Dr. Klaus Boller / Photo Researchers, Inc. When Melissa Miller, a veterinarian at the Department of Fish and Game in Santa Cruz, wrote an International Journal of Parasitology paper describing how a cat parasite that causes brain lesions was reaching Central California’s sea otters in 2002, she also put out a press release. Reporters were intrigue


From Private to Public

By | January 14, 2010

From Private to Public As head of a unique pharma-academia consortium, Aled Edwards has helped scientists solve the 3D structures of hundreds of disease-related proteins and deposited them in an open access bank—at half the usual cost. By Victoria Stern As an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal, Aled Edwards spent most of his time playing football and enjoying various intramural sports, like baseball and basketball—and in th



July 1, 2006

I. Coppens et al.," Toxoplasma gondii sequesters lysosomes from mammalian hosts in the vacuolar space," Cell , 125:261-74, April 21, 2006. This outstanding paper shows that the intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii exploits host microtubules to recruit and sequester host lysosomes into the parasitophorous vacuole. Through this process, the parasite gains access to host organelles that can provide a source of low-molecular-weight nu


Dinner, Pets, and Plagues by the Bucketful

By | April 12, 2004

UNEXPECTED ROUTES:Top: Courtesy of Thomas Strömberg; Bottom: Courtesy of David J. Jefferies time animals are brought together in unnatural densities, it raises the potential for disease disaster. Bullfrogs, mass farmed in South America, are shipped to the United States without disease inspection. Their discarded skins might spread amphibian fungal plagues. Outbreaks of House Finch conjunctivitis and salmonellosis in song birds have sp


Decoding Cryptosporidium

By | March 29, 2004

Comparatively simple genome reveals why standard antiparasitic drugs have been ineffective


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