Tagged with parasitism

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Goats could potentially transmit a dangerous parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, in their semen, according to research by Flaviana Wanderley and colleagues in Brazil. Well…who cares? Why should scientists devote research dollars and time to purposely giving goats STDs, just to see if they can? Like with so many other apparently bizarre research projects, the answer is: … Continue reading

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia are a type of bacteria that live inside the cells of many animals, but mostly insects. They are passed on from mother to child through the mother’s eggs. They can often be bad for the insect host: they might kill all male offspring, destroy the host’s gonads, or make it harder for the host … Continue reading

Gametes to spare–two stories for you!

Gametes to spare–two stories for you!

I haven’t been doing that much interwebbing lately, but I thought it would be best not to skip the weekly links again. However, I hesitate to call this a link “roundup” seeing as I only have 2 stories for today: sperm-shooting squid and egg-stacking beetles.

Will male cottony cushion scales survive their own mating strategy?

Will male cottony cushion scales survive their own mating strategy?

A friend of mine just brought my attention to this article in the New York Times Science section today. An insect known as the cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi) exists in two sexes: hermaphrodites and males. Here’s the twist: the hermaphrodites are females infected with the parasitic tissue of a male (her “father”). This parasitic tissue is able to act as the male part of … Continue reading

Parasites give snails an incentive for sex

Parasites give snails an incentive for sex

Among the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), some do it, some don’t. Have sex, that is. Just how many snails live the sexual life is determined, in large part, by how many snails in the population are infected by parasites, according to new research by Kayla King, Jukka Jokela, and Curtis Lively. The findings … Continue reading