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
15 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jhawn - LibraryThing

One of the year's most fascinating works of popular science is also its most disgusting. From tapeworms to isopods to ichneumon wasps, "parasites are complex, highly adapted creatures that are at the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MartinBodek - LibraryThing

This could be the most frightening book ever written. It is also the most eye-opening and educational I've ever experienced. Zimmer seems to pick book topics that people don't ponder in their everyday ... 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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