43 votes
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Is it possible to kill parasitic worms by intoxicating oneself?

In summary, there is no convincing evidence to say that alcohol intoxication helps to treat or prevent parasites in humans. 1) The evidence from in vivo human studies does not support the idea that ...
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  • 7,969
12 votes
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How can a tongue-biting parasitic arthropod become a fully functional tongue?

Short answer There is no evidence whatsoever that the parasitic arthropod Cymothoa exigua develops itself into a functional tongue. Instead, it consumes the fish's tongue and occupies the freed buccal ...
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  • 51.1k
10 votes
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Why is the mosquito a definitive host in malaria?

Plasmodium falciparum (the main causative agent of malaria) and other Plasmodium species have a very complex life cycle, with stages in the female host Anopheles mosquito, in the human liver, and in ...
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  • 14.7k
8 votes
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What are these bladder snail parasites?

I have finally figured out what these are, and it turns out I greatly misunderstood their relationship with snails. These worms are annelids of the genus Chaetogaster, specifically Chaetogaster ...
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  • 473
7 votes
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What is the difference between a predator and a parasite?

Good question. There is no fundamental difference between parasites and predators. Ecological Interaction In terms of ecological interaction, they are both defined as an interaction where one ...
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  • 67.5k
7 votes
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Refuge impact on growth rate

The answer to this depends a lot on what kind of question you're asking. Adding more context/clarifying your question might help you get more useful answers. If you run a short-term experiment ...
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  • 4,846
6 votes

What is the difference between a predator and a parasite?

Parasitism – a parasite that lives on or in an host, obtaining food from the host and harming it. Example: Ixodes ticks use white tailed deer as a host Parasite is smaller and weaker than the host ...
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  • 2,558
6 votes
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Ticks hitching a ride on a fly?

Without a close up examination of the subjects, which would require microscope images or a decent macro image it is impossible to identify these creatures with any certainty to the level of species. ...
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  • 6,908
5 votes

Is it possible to kill parasitic worms by intoxicating oneself?

Although the previous answers give a resounding "No" for the case of human hosts and parasitic worms, a 2012 research paper (Alcohol Consumption As Self-Medication Against Blood-Borne Parasites In The ...
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5 votes

Brood Parasitism - Parasitism/Ammensalism/Commensalism?

The cuckoo chick hatches earlier and instinctively pushes the host eggs out of the nest. If you view this from the genetic perspective of the crow, it becomes the foster parent of offspring that does ...
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  • 873
4 votes

How can a tongue-biting parasitic arthropod become a fully functional tongue?

Just to add to Christiaan's excellent answer: The authors of his cited study state: [the tongues] replacement by a parasite would not appear to be a complex phenomenon. Implying that this is a ...
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4 votes

Can galls be formed from mutualistic relationships?

From what I know of ant-Acacia mutualisms, I've never heard of an ant gall in an Acacia. The link in your question also never mentions a gall. You've likely confused either domatia or Beltian bodies ...
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4 votes
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What could be a refuge in host-parasitoid models

The most typical situation is a size refuge, i.e. prey/hosts that are too large or too small to attack (or possibly too small to be useful) are not attacked, or are attacked less, than hosts that are ...
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  • 4,846
3 votes

Brood Parasitism - Parasitism/Ammensalism/Commensalism?

Various aspects of this question suggest that OP is not asking about cuckoo/host interactions in general, but about research published in 2014 which appeared to show carrion crows (Corvus corone ...
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3 votes

Is it possible to kill parasitic worms by intoxicating oneself?

The answer to your question depends on the kind of parasites you're focusing on. Looking at bacteria and gastro-intestinal infections, I found three articles (one based on a model stomach, a second ...
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  • 131
3 votes

Do any known viruses contain "junk" or parasitic genomic information?

I'm curious if any known viruses can contain parasitic genetic information "along for the ride" Analogous to the parasitic transposons mentioned in the paper linked by canadianer, phage-...
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  • 7,564
3 votes
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The emergence of Phengaris butterflies from ant nests

I've been emailing some of the various researchers who worked on the papers I've cited. Jeremy Thomas and Judith Wardlaw both took time out of their (probably very busy!) schedules to reply, and they ...
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3 votes

Recent classification for parasitoid (ecological relationships)

I think the wikipedia article defining parasitoids has it right on this one. The term is, and should be flexible and it's definition defined by context. i.e Case by case definitions are made obvious ...
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  • 11.2k
3 votes
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Question about microaerophilic parasite tolerance for oxygen

Short answer: 50-60 µM O2 is ok; 80 µM is toxic. Giardia lamblia (aka intestinalis) is a microaerophilic intestinal parasite. According to: Lloyd et al. (2000) The microaerophilic ...
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  • 22.7k
3 votes
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Will meat rot in alcohol below freezing?

A chemist's perspective: Ethanol and water are miscible, meaning they are perfectly soluble in one another in all proportions. So given enough time, the alcohol will likely seep into the tissues and ...
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3 votes

Are there complexity requirements on potential hosts to be susceptible to parasites?

"Complexity" is a difficult term to operate with in biology; most people that use it don't have an idea of how they'd like to operationally define it, and without an operational definition ...
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  • 36k
2 votes

Can galls be formed from mutualistic relationships?

Yes, pollinating fig wasps are gall inducing and mutualistic at the same time, and actually essential for the pollination of figs (see e.g Martinson et al., 2015). During the very intricate mutualism, ...
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2 votes
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What is happening to this spider?

It is hard to say for certain, but the insect hanging from the spider looks like it may be a member of the family Elateridae, commonly known as a "click beetle". As far as I know, they're harmless and ...
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  • 380
2 votes

If a "parasite" is growing on a dead part of the host or on a completely dead host, does it still count as a parasite?

In parasitic interactions, one species (the parasite) benefits from the interaction while the other (the host) is harmed. So, whether an interaction is parasitic or not really depends on whether on ...
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  • 4,541
2 votes

Is it possible to kill parasitic worms by intoxicating oneself?

From the first principles: The most sensitive to alcohol part of the human body is it's nervous system. Worms have much simpler (in both biochemistry and organization) nervous system, so they will ...
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  • 267
1 vote
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Are there parasitoids of mosquitoes ? (other than nematodes)

It happens I just found an answer to my question in a recent review book by George Heimpel and Nicolas Mills. It appears that for now we do not know any parasitoid of mosquitoes. Quoting chapter 1 : ...
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  • 466
1 vote

Why are there no endoparasitic mammals or reptiles or birds?

Short answer size. endo/ectoparasites need to be small to go unnoticed, and be hard to eliminate. The smallest mammals and birds are still much larger than a flea, fluke or other endoparasite. That'...
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  • 13.1k
1 vote

Debug Fresno; why are the released mosquitos said to be sterile?

Males are effective sterilization vectors You can think of male mosquitos as fertile only in theory. Any mating of these mosquitos will generate no offspring whatsoever, so they are effective sterile ...
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