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You and Your Parasites: a very complicated relationship

  • Barney’s Beanery 1037 Broxton Avenue Los Angeles, CA, 90024 United States (map)

Yi-Pei Chen, PhD


Parasites are organisms that obtain nutrients from another organism (host) at the expense of host’s health. Parasites can be small or large, unicellular or multicellular, microscopic or gigantic, and cute or not-so-cute. Malaria is caused by a unicellular parasite and killed about 440,000 people in 2015. Other parasites may not cause such well-known diseases but they may be with you sucking your blood, eating your guts or biting your skin without you even knowing! What can we find out about their personalities before we suffer from this non-reciprocal relationship?