Monthly Archives: March 2021
Tapeworms have two sister lineages, one of which is the Gyrocotylidea, named after their characteristic ‘rosette’ organ. Compared to ‘true’ tapeworms, they bear little outward resemblance. They are exclusively parasites of deep-sea chimaeras, or ratfishes, and are surprisingly common in this host group. The World Register of Marine Species chose the new species Gyrocotyle haffii among the top 10 new marine species in 2020.
Investigating gene expression in the brains of infected and uninfected sticklebacks can help shed light on the molecular mechanisms used by parasites to manipulate their host’s behaviour. Interestingly, parallels can be made between parasite-induced behavioural alterations and human neurological disorders.
Recent research leads to a new hypothesis explaining the interaction between malaria parasites and receptors on the cells lining the brain microvasculature when patients have cerebral malaria.
Microplastic pollution is a global crisis that we are all having to face as a consequence of our own actions. However, an aspect of microplastic pollution that hasn’t really registered yet in the public conscience is the potential for microplastics to promote the growth and transport of pathogenic microorganisms. Recent Reviews published by Gavin Lear’s team and Jake Bowley and colleagues discuss the mechanisms behind this.