Video: Zombie Parasites by Anand Varma

What if, unbeknownst to you, someone—or something—was controlling your behavior for its own nefarious ends? Join photographer Anand Varma as he reveals this nightmare scenario being acted out over and over across the natural world, as unsuspecting hosts are compelled to nurture and protect mind-sucking parasites. This video was first published by National Geographic on […]

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Bromeliads may actually protect fruit trees from pest damage

Imagine a plant. Now remove the soil, for it’s not essential. In fact, an estimated one-tenth of all plant species have liberated themselves from soil and evolved into epiphytes—plants that grow on other plants. Although growing on others can seem parasitic, botanists have traditionally acquitted epiphytes of stealing from their hosts—except for the parasitic mistletoe—regarding […]

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Forty Percent of River Otters in England and Wales May Be Infected with Parasitic Disease Toxoplasmosis

A study by 11 British scientists who examined 271 Eurasian otter cadavers across England found that 108 (almost 40 percent) of those animals tested positive for the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis, which is described in the study as a “globally important [disease] with potentially devastating health impacts both for humans and a range of domestic and […]

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Fish company investigated after salmon farm pollutes Scottish loch

Marine Harvest, one of the world’s largest fish-farming companies, is under investigation after its salmon farms polluted a Scottish loch with toxic pesticide residues hundreds of times above environmental limits. Sampling tests around salmon cages on Loch Shell in the Outer Hebrides by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) found that levels of Teflubenzuron, used […]

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Neonicotinoid pesticides ‘damage brains of bees’

Commonly used pesticides are damaging honey bee brains, studies suggest. Scientists have found that two types of chemicals called neonicotinoids and coumaphos are interfering with the insect’s ability to learn and remember. Experiments revealed that exposure was also lowering brain activity, especially when the two pesticides were used in combination. The research is detailed in […]

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