Searching for a better way to explain health and science. Parasites, friend or foe? Does reading a newspaper make us better informed?
Here's what's on tap: Is tackle football the "New Smoking?" ... Private equity investment + healthcare = SURPRISE Billing. ... Is there an evolutionary role for parasites? ... And time: Is it subjective, fleeting or agonizingly long? A look at the underlying neurobiology.
Identifying the cause of an infectious disease is time-consuming and not always easy. So a company called Karius has developed a blood test that analyzes cell-free DNA to identify more than a thousand pathogens.
Pigs have their noses constantly in the mud, and they eat just about anything. It's not a surprise, therefore, that they carry potentially dangerous infections. And raising the pig yourself and naming it Oinker doesn't mean it will be more hygienic than any other pig.
The myth that "natural is better" is widespread and pernicious. Though it can manifest in relatively harmless ways (e.g., consuming overpriced organic food), the relentless pursuit of all-things natural can be dangerous or even deadly. It is not an exaggeration to say that society's obsession with natural remedies is itself an illness. The latest weirdness comes from Germany, which according to New Scientist, is considering approval of parasite eggs as a food additive. After eating the eggs, little worms hatch, and people believe that these worms will cure them of their maladies. Most likely, they won't.
Parasitism evolved at least 223 times, far more than the previous estimate of 60. It arose more times in certain phyla (e.g., arthropods, nematodes, flatworms, and mollusks) than in others. Today, about half of all animal species are parasitic.