In 2014, a team of researchers led by a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri found that clams from the Holocene Epoch (that began 11,700 years ago) contained clues about how sea level rise due to climate change could foreshadow a rise in parasitic trematodes. Now, an international team from Mizzou and the Universities of Bologna and Florida has found that rising seas could be detrimental to human health on a much shorter time scale.
Postdoctoral research fellow Julia Buck discovers a new paradigm for describing trophic cascades caused by infectious agents.
University of South Florida biologists have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's later ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult.
Biologists at the University of Connecticut and University of South Florida have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult. The scientists showed that an early-life disruption of the gut and skin bacterial communities of tadpoles later affects the adult frogs' ability to fight off parasitic gut worms.
A plant parasitic nematode is a pest that parasitizes the roots of agricultural crops and creates nests called 'galls' which deprive plants of nutrition. Research from Japan on plant reactions to parasitic worms shows that parasitism activates plant stem cells which grow to form galls on their roots. This finding is expected to improve crop breeds and alleviate nematode damage, which is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year worldwide.
Amphibians can develop tolerance to pesticides, but this tolerance can lead to increased susceptibility to parasites, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in structural changes within the lungs over time. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have now been able to show that these changes not only affect the organ itself, but also the bacteria that live in the lung. The results have been published in PLOS ONE.
James Cook University researchers in Australia say they now know exactly what makes horny cane toads boogie. And the toad tune could help sound the death knell for the pests.
A lack of evidence that bats are key reservoirs of human disease has not prevented their vilification or efforts to exterminate bat colonies where threats are presumed to lurk. 'The fact is that they provide important ecosystem services...and we want them around,' says Tony Goldberg, a University of Wisconsin-Madison epidemiologist and virus hunter. 'But bats are also increasingly acknowledged as hosts of medically significant viruses. I have mixed feelings about that.'
The malaria parasite's success is owed to stripping down its genome to the bare essential genes, scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have found. In the first ever large-scale study of malaria gene function, scientists analyzed more than half of the genes in the parasite's genome and found that two thirds of these genes were essential for survival -- the largest proportion of essential genes found in any organism studied to date.