Monthly Archives: December 2015

Mistletoe: a paradoxical parasite


This Christmas, many people around the world will put up a sprig of mistletoe to kiss under. It is an established festive tradition, but not many people realise that mistletoe is in fact a parasite. Furthermore, it is paradoxical among parasites because, whereas most parasites are abhorred by humans as the architects of disease, suffering and death, mistletoe has not suffered from this ‘stigma’. Here, I examine the secret to its successful image.

Biology Health Medicine

Researching emerging zoonotic schistosomiasis in West Africa


In November, my team and I visited several villages in Senegal, collecting stool and urine samples from livestock, inspecting the blood vessels and offal of any slaughtered animal in the villages and surveying human and animal water-contact sites for specific aquatic snails. We were looking for schistosome parasites in order to determine the distribution and… Read more »

Biology Developing World Health Medicine