Parasites and animal behavior
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Parasites and animal behavior
The curious world of parasites controlling animal and human behavior
Curated by David Hughes
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Five new species of entomopathogenic fungi from the Amazon and evolution of neotropical Ophiocordyceps. - PubMed - NCBI

Fungal Biol. 2015 Oct;119(10):901-16. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2015.06.010. Epub 2015 Jul 8.
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Making the best of a bad situation: host partial resistance and bypass of behavioral manipulation by parasites?: Trends in Parasitology

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Flies infected by entomopathogenic fungi in an Urban Fragment of Semideciduous Forest

Flies infected by entomopathogenic fungi in an Urban Fragment of Semideciduous Forest | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution
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Imported bumblebees carry parasites - BBC News

Imported bumblebees carry parasites - BBC News | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
BBC News
Imported bumblebees carry parasites
BBC News
They found 77% had parasites that could infect native bees.
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Farming site offers worldly advice - Centre Daily Times

Farming site offers worldly advice - Centre Daily Times | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Farming site offers worldly advice Centre Daily Times “We're soon going to have a planet with 10 billion people, and food security will be the biggest problem we'll face,” said Hughes, a tropical ecologist who is an expert on the behavior and...
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Diarrhea-causing parasite infections continue to climb: 60 Iowans ill from ... - Shreveport Times

Diarrhea-causing parasite infections continue to climb: 60 Iowans ill from ... - Shreveport Times | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Headlines & Global News
Diarrhea-causing parasite infections continue to climb: 60 Iowans ill from ...
Shreveport Times
Authorities suspect that whatever vegetables that caused the problem probably have already been sold and consumed or thrown out.
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World of Zombies - AsiaOne

World of Zombies - AsiaOne | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
AsiaOne
World of Zombies
AsiaOne
The ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus infects the ant's brain, causing it to climb down from its habitat to bite down on the main vein of a leaf.
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Eau de Manipulation: Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor

Eau de Manipulation: Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it

Responsible for the most dangerous kind of malaria and at least half of malaria cases worldwide, Plasmodium falciprum is estimated to kill somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people every year. In recent years, the parasite has developed resistance to many of our best treatments, leaving doctors without options in the over one hundred countries where malaria is endemic. While scientists continue to research new means of treatment from vaccines to drugs, nations struggling with malaria have shifted focus to prevention. Recently, this means scientists have become particularly interested in mosquito behavior to develop better, cost-effective control mechanisms. But a new study in PLoS ONE today suggests we know less than we might have thought, and that the parasite may be influencing its host mosquitos in ways we never even imagined.

 

“So far, most studies of Anopheles gambiae mosquito behavior have been conducted with uninfected mosquitoes,” write the authors, “but our data demonstrate that such results may not be representative of infected mosquitoes.” Previous studies found that Plasmodium-infected mosquitosprobe skin more, bite more often and ingest larger meals than uninfected ones, but the scientific team comprised of scientists from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States wondered whether infected mosquitos behave differently before they land.

 

Many parasites with multiple hosts are known to alter one hosts’ behavior to increase transmission to the next. Toxoplasma gondii, for example, suppresses rats’ fear of cats by altering how they respond to feline smells. The research team wondered if Plasmodium could control mosquitos along the same lines, so they tested how uninfected and infected mosquitos reacted to the scent of human skin. Their results were staggeringly significant. Infected Anopheles mosquitos landed on the human-scented surface more than three times as often as non-infected mosquitos. “These results suggest that malaria-infectious females are more attracted to human odors than uninfected mosquitoes,” write the authors. “This is the first indication of a change in [mosquito] behavior in response to human odor, caused by infection with P. falciparum.”

The authors hope this research spurs further study into the ways in whichPlasmodium alters mosquito senses. New types of attractant smells, for example, could lead to breakthroughs in trapping technology and provide powerful allies in the struggle against malaria.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Video Game 'The Last of Us' Has a Staggering Amount of Detail - The Ledger

Video Game 'The Last of Us' Has a Staggering Amount of Detail - The Ledger | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Video Game 'The Last of Us' Has a Staggering Amount of Detail
The Ledger
In “The Last of Us” (PlayStation 3; rated Mature), an evolved form of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis has plagued mankind.
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Extended phenotype redux : Article : EMBO reports

Extended phenotype redux : Article : EMBO reports | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
EMBO reports encourages and publishes articles that report novel findings of wide biological significance in the areas of development, immunology, neuroscience, plant biology, structural biology, genomic & computational biology, genome stability &...
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Twitter / ZombieAntGuy: The great and esteemed ant ...

Twitter / ZombieAntGuy: The great and esteemed ant ... | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
The great and esteemed ant systematist Barry Bolton' pronouncement on zombie ants. #whatever http://t.co/s7vSVTcnv8
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Animals in a bacterial world, a new imperative for the life sciences

Animals in a bacterial world, a new imperative for the life sciences | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it

In the last two decades, the widespread application of genetic and genomic approaches has revealed a bacterial world astonishing in its ubiquity and diversity. This review examines how a growing knowledge of the vast range of animal–bacterial interactions, whether in shared ecosystems or intimate symbioses, is fundamentally altering our understanding of animal biology. Specifically, we highlight recent technological and intellectual advances that have changed our thinking about five questions: how have bacteria facilitated the origin and evolution of animals; how do animals and bacteria affect each other’s genomes; how does normal animal development depend on bacterial partners; how is homeostasis maintained between animals and their symbionts; and how can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of animal–bacterial interaction. As answers to these fundamental questions emerge, all biologists will be challenged to broaden their appreciation of these interactions and to include investigations of the relationships between and among bacteria and their animal partners as we seek a better understanding of the natural world.


Via The aphid team@INRA Rennes
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An Endophyte Constructs Fungicide-Containing Extracellular Barriers for Its Host Plant

An Endophyte Constructs Fungicide-Containing Extracellular Barriers for Its Host Plant | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Surface cracks create sites for pathogen invasion. Yew trees (Taxus) hyperbranch from long-lived buds that lie underneath the bark [ 1 ], resulting in persistent bark cracking and deep air pockets, potentially allowing pathogens to enter the nutrient-rich vascular system (vertical phloem and inter-connected radial medullary rays [MR]). Yew is famous as the source of the anti-cancer diterpenoid drug Taxol. A mystery has been why both the tree and its resident non-pathogenic fungi (endophytes) synthesize Taxol, apparently redundantly [ 2–7 ]. These endophytes, as well as pure Taxol, suppress fungal pathogens including wood-decaying fungi (WDF) [ 8–11 ]. Here we show that a Taxol-producing fungal endophyte, Paraconiothyrium SSM001 [ 12 ], migrates to pathogen entry points including branch cracks. The fungus sequesters Taxol in intracellular hydrophobic bodies that are induced by WDF for release by exocytosis, after which the bodies can coalesce to form remarkable extracellular barriers, laced with the fungicide. We propose that microbial construction of fungicide-releasing hydrophobic barriers might be a novel plant defense mechanism. We further propose that the endophyte might be evolutionarily analogous to animal immune cells, in that it might expand plant immunity by acting as an autonomous, anti-pathogen sentinel that monitors the vascular system.

Via Jean-Michel Ané, Steve Marek
David Hughes's insight:

not animal behavior but cool study on how yew trees and partner fungi collaborate 

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Host behaviour manipulation as an evolutionary route towards attenuation of parasitoid virulence - Maure - 2014 - Journal of Evolutionary Biology - Wiley Online Library

Host behaviour manipulation as an evolutionary route towards attenuation of parasitoid virulence - Maure - 2014 - Journal of Evolutionary Biology - Wiley Online Library | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
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Ophiocordyceps sessilis sp. nov., a new species of Ophiocordyceps on Camponotus ants in Japan - Online First - Springer

Ophiocordyceps sessilis sp. nov., a new species of Ophiocordyceps on Camponotus ants in Japan - Online First - Springer | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
貝津好孝さんの論文 Ophiocordyceps sessilis sp. nov., a new species of Ophiocordyceps on Camponotus ants in Japan http://t.co/dpYotaX7c3
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Parasites Change Bees Brains, but Not Their Behavior - Science Daily (press release)

Parasites Change Bees Brains, but Not Their Behavior - Science Daily (press release) | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Parasites Change Bees Brains, but Not Their Behavior Science Daily (press release) July 17, 2013 — Honey bees Apis mellifera) infected with the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, or the microsporidia, Nosema ceranae, have changes in the chemical...
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Zombie ants and a cultural obsession | Underworld Awakening

Zombie ants and a cultural obsession | Underworld Awakening | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Zombies have long been a part of our storytelling culture, with stories about zombies originating in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Voodoo and the belief that witchcraft could raise corpses from the dead.
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New fungus discovered in Fukushima - The Japan News

New fungus discovered in Fukushima - The Japan News | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
New fungus discovered in Fukushima The Japan News Unlike other caterpillar fungus in Japan, tsubugata-aritake is a “takeover” type that feeds on insects such as ants and cicadas that have already been parasitized by another tochukaso,...
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Parasites - Tales Of Real Life Body Snatchers - KUOW News and Information

Parasites - Tales Of Real Life Body Snatchers - KUOW News and Information | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Parasites - Tales Of Real Life Body Snatchers
KUOW News and Information
Well folks, I am not sure if this is good or bad news, but I am afraid zombies are real. At least kind of.
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Cat Poop Parasite Is Dangerously Widespread - LiveScience.com

Cat Poop Parasite Is Dangerously Widespread - LiveScience.com | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Cat Poop Parasite Is Dangerously Widespread
LiveScience.com
Cat dung carries the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled organism that creates infectious agents called oocysts.
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Pathways to understanding the extended phenotype of parasites in their hosts

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Bernadette Cassel's curator insight, April 22, 2013 5:49 AM

 

New approaches: David G. Biron and Hugh D. Loxdale

 

Host–parasite molecular cross-talk during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite J Exp Biol 2013 216:148-160. ; doi:10.1242/jeb.073825


http://jeb.biologists.org/content/216/1/148.full.pdf#page=1&view=FitH

 

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Effects of a muscle-infecting parasitic nematode on the locomotor performance of their fish host - Umberger - 2013 - Journal of Fish Biology - Wiley Online Library

Effects of a muscle-infecting parasitic nematode on the locomotor performance of their fish host - Umberger - 2013 - Journal of Fish Biology - Wiley Online Library | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
David Hughes's insight:

Nematodes take the place of muscles and slow fish down to be eater. 

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The 10 Most Diabolical and Disgusting Parasites

The 10 Most Diabolical and Disgusting Parasites | Parasites and animal behavior | Scoop.it
Parasites use clever ploys to stay alive while destroying their victims.
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