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

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 21, 2000 - Science - 320 pages
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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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Parasite rex: inside the bizarre world of nature's most dangerous creatures

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Zimmer, a columnist at National History, has written an absolutely fascinating book about parasitesDonce the reader gets past the "grossness" factor. As with his previous book, At the Water's Edge (LJ ... Read full review

Review: Parasite Rex (with a New Epilogue): Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

User Review  - Seanan - Goodreads

I love science; I love diseases; I love weird science. This book was essentially written for me, and has provided me with a way of starting the study of parasites. Yay! If you don't like science, don ... Read full review

Contents

Natures Criminals
1
Terra Incognita
23
The Thirty Years War
55
A Precise Horror
79
The Great Step Inward
118
Evolution from Within
157
How to Live in a Parasitic World
216
can be part of a cure
247
Further Reading and Selected Bibliography
273
Acknowledgments
295
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About the author (2000)

Carl Zimmer is the author of three well-received books on evolution. A Guggenheim fellow in 2002, he writes regularly for magazines, including National Geographic, Science, Newsweek, and Natural History.

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