Month: March 2020

Swine Flu

Swine Flu

March 22nd – Swine flu is an influenza virus that usually affects pigs. However, just as the common, seasonal flu that affects humans is constantly mutating (as our immune systems and vaccines compromise weaker strains), swine flu is always trying to improve itself so that it can become more virulent, spread faster – and even …

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Noctiluca

Noctiluca

March 20th – When you go to the beach or bay at night and see tiny sparkles of light coming from the water, it isn’t your imagination. It’s Noctiluca! From the Latin for “night light,” Noctiluca are also known as Sea Sparkle. These tiny dinoflagellates float beneath the surface of the ocean by the millions. …

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Tapeworms

Tapeworms

March 18th – There are over a thousand types of flat parasitic worms which can inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of vertebrates. But none of them is a welcome guest! Tapeworms attach their scolex, or head, to their host’s intestinal system using hooks and suckers. From this head, a long, flat strobila comprised of numerous segments, …

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Shigella

Shigella

March 17th – A lot of stomach aches are caused by gas or acid in your stomach. But others are caused by microbes. Shigella is one of the more common culprits! (It is particularly common in developing countries and is a major cause of traveler’s diseases.) Shigella is named after a Japanese researcher named Shiga …

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Rotifers

Rotifers

March 15th – Rotifers are beautiful microscopic creatures most commonly found in freshwater environments. They are among the smallest members of the animal kingdom, and have delighted amateur microbiologists since their discovery in 1696 by the Rev. John Harris. There are thousands of species, each with its own morphology. But the most distinctive rotiferean characteristic …

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Rabies

Rabies

March 14th – In its latter stages, rabies causes fever, insomnia, hallucinations, foaming at the mouth, and extreme aggression. Rabies is present in the saliva of infected animals, and biting is the primary means of transmission, which is one reason mad dogs have been a source of terror since ancient times. (The other reason is …

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