Parasite Rex Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

ISBN-10: 074320011X

ISBN-13: 9780743200110

Edition: 2001 (Reprint)

Authors: Carl Zimmer
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Description: IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction. IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules. IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites. WELCOME TO EARTH. For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and in the darkest shadows of science. Yet these creatures are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer deftly balances the scientific and the disgusting as he takes readers on a fantastic voyage. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the fetid parasite haven of southern Sudan, Zimmer graphically brings to life how parasites can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead. This thorough, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe.

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 11/9/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Carl Zimmer writes the monthly essay in the US magazine Natural History, having inherited this position from Stephen Jay Gould.

Prologue: A Vein Is a River: First sightings of the inner world
Nature's Criminals: How parasites came to be hated by just about everyone
Terra Incognita: Swimming through the heart, fighting to the death inside a caterpillar, and other parasitic adventures
The Thirty Years' War: How parasites provoke, manipulate, and get intimate with our immune system
A Precise Horror: How parasites turn their hosts into castrated slaves, drink blood, and manage to change the balance of nature
The Great Step Inward: Four billion years in the reign of Parasite Rex
Evolution from Within: The peacock's tail, the origin of species, and other battles against the rules of evolution
The Two-Legged Host: How Homo sapiens grew up with creatures inside
How to Live in a Parasitic World: A sick planet, and how the most newly arrived parasite can be part of a cure
Glossary
Notes
Further Reading and Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index
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