Month: April 2020

Heartworm

Heartworm

April 10th – You’re not the only one who loves dogs – numerous parasites on the inside and outside of man’s best friend use him as their own little ecosystem. Most are harmless annoyances, but heartworm (or Dirofilaria immitis) can cause serious complications and even death if left untreated. Thin, spaghetti-like parasites, heartworms typically reside …

Heartworm Read More »

House Fly

House Fly

April 8th – The common house fly flaps its wings about 200 times a second, creating one of the world’s least sonorous sounds! But fortunately, their buzz is worse than their bite. With only spongy mouthparts and no stinger, the house fly can’t prick you (though it’s country-cousin, the stable fly, looks similar and can …

House Fly Read More »

DNA

DNA

April 7th – Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is the amazing molecular double helix that contains the genetic codes for all known life. First identified in 1869 and accurately described in 1953, its very existence provides a new understanding about how life works. The two spiraling strands that coil around each other are comprised of sugar …

DNA Read More »

Dust Mites

Dust Mites

April 6th – Although many people credit pollen and animal dander with triggering allergies, dust mites are the primary cause of year-round allergies and asthma. Nearly 10% of the population is affected! Dust mites feed on flakes of human skin; and the proximate cause of allergic reactions is a protein found in their droppings. (Each …

Dust Mites Read More »

Paleovirology

Paleovirology

April 5th – Paleovirology is where ancient viruses are researched. When French scientists Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel learned that plants had been revived from 30,000 year old seeds found in squirrel hoards buried deep in the Siberian permafrost, they requested frost samples from the Russian team. They then tempted the samples with fresh amoeba, …

Paleovirology Read More »

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis

April 2nd – Toxoplasmosis is an extremely common parasitic disease caused by the toxoplasma gondii protozoan. Large percentages of the world’s population are infected! One of the most common food-borne illnesses, toxoplasmosis can be acquired by eating undercooked meat (particularly lamb and pork), or underwashed fruits and vegetables. But toxoplasmosis is typically associated with cats …

Toxoplasmosis Read More »