00:28:10 – A stiff drink used to be the only painkiller you might get. Kelly’s drink isn’t stiff but it still provokes a strong reaction: water kefir. After painstakingly explaining what is and how she made it, Abe and Ryan have nothing good to say. Abe tries to salvage the conversation with some Romantic Chemistry, but alas it falls a bit short. Ryan tries to avoid Kelly’s wrath when talking about the Pinchgut Hollow Buckwheat Moonshine his Dad gave him.
01:01:58 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like Chinese lunar rovers; most Americans don’t even know they exist. Kelly has an e-mail from former guest of the show Zeka Kuspa, who wants to know if the now extinct Condor louse makes her list of eradicated parasites. Abe reads an e-mail from Steven who’s asking for some help tracking down a particular SoCal beer. We don’t have a specific answer, but it sounds like he just needs to keep trying Imperial Pilsners. Ryan rounds out the show with a new recurring donationfrom Leong all the way in Taiwan. Thanks, Leong! Ryan, of course, plugs his ongoing crowdfunding campaign, go watch the video and consider donating here!
I’m often asked by students to suggest books they can read about parasites. Below is a list of books that I’ve read and enjoyed. The list will be updated over time. Please feel free to suggest books that I should add to the list in the comments.
This book is about one of my favorite topics: What have parasites “learned” through the process of natural selection about how human physiology works? How can we take the lessons these parasites have learned and use them to treat human disease?
Robert Desowitz talks about his experiences working with parasites (particularly neglected tropical diseases), and the people infected with these parasites. He is an amazing story-teller, and really connects the reader with the human-suffering caused by these diseases.
An extremely well-researched overview of the Hygiene Hypothesis. Moises Velasquez-Manoff provides a balanced view of the evidence for and against this hypothesis, and walks the reader through his experience with helminth therapy to treat his autoimmune diseases.
I gave a talk on outreach through blogging and podcasting for the Student Workshop at this year’s American Society of Parasitologists conference. The slides from the presentation are available below (click on image or link).
On Friday, October 24th I’m going to be recording a live podcast with Ryan Haupt and Ben Tippett of Science…sort of! In addition to being a geektastic good time, it will be the first time I’ve met Ben in person! The event is being held at a motorcycle shop run by folks with PhDs in BioChemistry. It’s going to be epic, and it’s going to be free.
The California Academy of Sciences opens its doors to adults only on Thursday nights for an event called NightLife. The October 30th NightLife is Halloween themed, and the Weinersmiths will be there to geek out. I’ll be giving a short talk about parasites as part of a series of spooky science talks, and Zach and I will be recording a podcast live. See you there!
Frankie and Clay from CellScope tabled with us as well, and brought their iPadScope. They let me use one of their scopes to view live Euhaplorchis californiensis cercariae. (Huge thanks to Alejandra Jaramillo for sending me E. californiensis-infected snails!) Folks really got a kick out of watching a brain-infecting parasite swim around! The CellScope guys also brought zebrafish eggs, and zoomed in on the fish’s heart. The CellScope images are really good, and you could see blood flowing through the fish’s heart. Really, really cool.
I also gave a ~20 minute talk and answered some questions about brain-infecting parasites. The YouTube video for the entire show is below, and is cued up to where my talk starts. The talk before mine was about picture books and the Caldecott Medal, and the talk after mine was about a proposal for a new way of treating snake bites. The snake bite talk was by Dr. Matthew Lewin, who allowed himself to be paralyzed so he could show that his proposed cure for paralyzing snake-bites was effective. He talks about the experience in his talk, and talks about how hard it has been to find money to follow up on this line of research. I’m pretty sure my mouth was agape the entire time Matthew was giving his talk. It was mind blowing. Both talks were super cool.