parasites

Composed of a single cell, amoeba seem harmless enough: They look like playful critters waltzing under the spotlight of a microscope until they come upon a group of bacteria. Then, these previously innocuous amoeba suddenly morph into sinister blobs, engulfing the bacteria and slowly ripping them apart with a bevy of digestive enzymes. It’s hard… Read more

A small molecule that selectively kills the pathogen causing sleeping sickness and Chagas disease has been developed by scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, along with colleagues from the Technical University of Munich and the Ruhr University Bochum. The researchers first determined the parasite’s Achilles heel by using modern structural biology techniques and then developed… Read more

Once you are infected with Toxoplasma gondii, you are protected from reinfection for the rest of your life, current medical science tells us. This belief should be questioned, say researchers. The concerns come from a handful of case studies in which expectant mothers in their late 20s and early 30s were known to have been… Read more

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite which infects a third of the world’s population. Ingested via under-cooked meat or unwashed vegetables, the parasite infects 15-30 percent of the US population. In France and Brazil, up to 80 percent of the population has the infection, referred to as Toxoplasmosis. Particularly dangerous during pregnancy, infection in pregnant… Read more

Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger— road rage, for example— are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. In a study involving 358 adult subjects, a team led by researchers from the University of Chicago found… Read more