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Jan. 13th, 2006 @ 05:36 pm hello from newbie
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic city
Hi all,

I'm Dans, short for Danielle. I'm a 3rd year undergraduate Zoology student at University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Just about to sit my exam for a parasitology module I did this year, absolutly loved it and have decided I wanna be a parasitologist. I'm just gobsmacked by what these guys can do and I wanna learn more about them and study them. It's the most interesting thing I've ever come across (biology wise).

Been reading a new book The Art Of Being A Parasite by Claude Combes. I highly recomend it. Its been talking abit about parasitic molecules and genomes and it has my head spining. Ive always thought that organisms fight so much to pass thier genes on to the next generation because they are being motivated by that DNA. To find out that we have things that can parasitise our DNA has just sent me spinning. *stops typing before she goes into the really crazy and odd zone*

Dans
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bent_brokenrose:
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From:miteman
Date:January 13th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Welcome aboard, Dans. It is always great to meet another parasite-loving freak like those of us in this community. grin. I'm teaching my parasitology class again this spring, and this year it is going to be crazy. I get to scare/torment two schools of students, since I am going Distance Ed (we are doing interactive TV thru a deticated T1/phone line). As I got through the term, I'll post neat little tidbits I dig up about the wonderful world of parasitology.

Anyway, great to meet you, and feel free to ask or comment about parasites here. I love it when the group is active.
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From:bent_brokenrose
Date:January 14th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
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cool ty for the welcome

its great freaking people out with fun facts. can i ask a question though as you seem to know alot about parasites.

Whats the main difference between parasites and viruses as they both exploit the host they are in. is it just that viruses are generally bacteria/molecules etc

its just in a lot of my reading people use HIV as an example of a parasite but that doesnt seem right to me

Dans
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From:miteman
Date:January 14th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)

What is a Parasite?

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It really depends on your definition of a parasite. If you use a very broad definition, such as one that a parasite is any organism that uses and requires another to live, then parasites can include almost everything from viruses to vampire bats. It makes predation a special form of parasitism, if only a less efficient form (after all, why kill you host? Then you have to find a new one next time you are hungry). This definition also takes all the parasitoids and makes them true parasites as well. As for viruses, that can be thrown back into the old argument of whether they are living organisms. If a parasite is an organism, and viruses are not organisms, then where are you? (Don't you love the circular questioning you can get in biology? It helps to keep you on your toes.)

When most folks talk about parasites, they tend to limit parasitism to the classical definition, including protozoans through the helminths. The inclusion of the arthropods (particular of the crustaceans and the insects) is hit or miss in true parasitology, although they are gaining more acceptance. I personally study ectoparasitic mites, and that is weakly covered by the parasitic journals, but welcomed by the entomology/acarology journals. Bacteria tend to be included in microbiology and not thought of as "parasites". Just like so many other things in science, like species concepts, it is your own ideas and interpretations that define what you are working with.
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From:bent_brokenrose
Date:January 15th, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)

Re: What is a Parasite?

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okies ty our course covered the protozoa helminths and then arthropods briefly but the more i read the more i see that being widened so will have to try and figure out a definition to go by.

You can get some great discussions in biology and i love hashing out ideas with other biologist although mine do tend to be on the werider side of normal. But hey someone has to think outside the box

I;m not sure about the whole what is life question. I brought my friend on here the other day and we were looking at the two-headed baby article. I brought up the question of what did they do with the head did they throw it in the medical waste or did they bury it? It was going to be a person though and it could blink and smile. But at the same time it was able to live on its own. Its a hard question and one that i thinks gonna take a lot of thought and discussion for me to work out my stand on.

Thank you for helping me get a better grounding on the whole what is a parasite though

Dans
From:ssyndrome
Date:January 19th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)

Hello!

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Welcome to the community! The activity here tends to fluctuate but I'm glad new people are joining. I'm the mod here but I must admit to knowing not that much about parasites. That's why I started the community! I'm an anthropology major at UNM and would love to take parasitology courses, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks for joining! And I will definitely check out that book.
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From:bent_brokenrose
Date:February 2nd, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)

Re: Hello!

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cool i ordered his other book called parasites. it was a lot bigger than i expected it to be but the art of being a parasite is chugging along nicely. thankyou for the welcome.