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NATIONAL
October 9, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
Anyone up for a nice, refreshing, early-autumn swim on the Nevada side of Lake Mead? Well, steer clear of Boulder Beach, which has been infected with - ick - swimmer's itch . Rangers say that an above-normal waterfowl population may be to blame for the poison ivy-like rash that was reported by at least a dozen swimmers over the weekend. Also known as schistosome cercarial dermatitis , swimmer's itch is caused  when flatworm parasites that are found in some birds burrow into human skin and cause an allergic reaction.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
The extraterrestrial species that the denizens of "Almost Human" have close encounters with is of the parasitic variety that also possesses the ability to manipulate the behavior of its hosts. Mark (Josh Ethier) reemerges two years after his abduction by aliens and immediately embarks on a killing spree. With circumstances of Mark's inexplicable disappearance now recurring, his best friend, Seth (Graham Skipper), and now-ex girlfriend, Jen (Vanessa Leigh), begin fearing the worst.
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NEWS
September 20, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Two new recipients of the MacArthur fellowships -- the so-called genius awards that provide $500,000 each to recipients to help them pursue any projects they like -- will use their prize money to delve into the inner workings of some of nature's tiniest structures: viruses and stem cells. Elodie Ghedin, a 44-year-old genomics scientist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, decodes the genomes of pathogens such as parasites and viruses to understand how they adapt to their hosts and evolve.
SCIENCE
May 18, 2013 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
The harlequin ladybird was once a stalwart ally of greenhouse growers around the world. Native to Japan, Korea and other parts of eastern Asia, the bright red ladybugs were prized for their aphid-eating abilities - until they caused serious declines in other ladybug populations. Now researchers have discovered the harlequin ladybird's secret weapon: a deadly parasite that lives harmlessly in its body but kills other species with abandon. The findings, published this week in the journal Science, demonstrate how things can go awry when a foreign creature is introduced into an ecosystem, even when done with the best intentions.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
A new federal report has found that the nation's honeybee decline, which threatens up to $30 billion worth of agriculture production, is being caused by several factors, including disease, parasites and poor genetics. After colony collapse disorder began spreading in 2006, federal officials convened a group of researchers to study the phenomenon. Thursday's report by the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency found several causes for the honeybee decline.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Scientists are harnessing the power of a parasitic worm to design a microneedle device that's more than three times as powerful as conventional surgical staples -- without the risks and side effects. The technology, described online Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, could be used for delicate procedures such as skin grafts for burn victims and face transplants. They could even be used to deliver drugs into the body. Current post-op techniques come with major drawbacks.
SCIENCE
January 13, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes an itchy and smelly genital infection especially dangerous to women, has nearly as many genes as a human being, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science. The parasite affects at least 170 million people globally. A team of 66 researchers in 10 countries led by Dr. Jane Carlton of the New York University School of Medicine found the protozoan has close to 26,000 genes.
NATIONAL
August 6, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Two children died after being infected with a rare parasite associated with swimming in stagnant water, health officials said in Tulsa. The boys, 9 and 7, did not know each other but were both believed to have been swimming in area ponds before contracting Naegleria, an amoeba that enters the body through the nose and can cause a deadly inflammation of the brain. Three city pools were closed for testing, although health officials doubted the boys contracted the disease there.
SCIENCE
December 29, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Roundworms may infect nearly one-fourth of inner-city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among Latinos, and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said this week. Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America, said Dr.
BUSINESS
November 9, 1988 | Associated Press
The air is pungent with the smell of the sea, and sea gulls busily pick through piles of crushed oyster and clam shells. But the pervading mood is mournful because the oysters are dying out. Since the late 1950s, oysters in the Delaware and Chesapeake bays have been plagued by a parasite known as MSX--"multinucleated sphere, unknown." Off southern New Jersey, the problem has become so bad that oyster fishing has been almost entirely eliminated for the past two years.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
A new federal report has found that the nation's honeybee decline, which threatens up to $30 billion worth of agriculture production, is being caused by several factors, including disease, parasites and poor genetics. After colony collapse disorder began spreading in 2006, federal officials convened a group of researchers to study the phenomenon. Thursday's report by the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency found several causes for the honeybee decline.
SCIENCE
May 2, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
Although honeybee loss slowed last year, it remains at dangerously high levels, according to a new federal report that concluded there was no single remedy for the colony collapse that has hit America's hard-working crop pollinators. The report, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, attributed the colony decline to a number of factors, including pesticide exposure, parasites and poor nutrition. Since 2006, when colony collapse disorder emerged, an estimated 10 million bee hives, worth about $2 billion, have been lost.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Scientists are harnessing the power of a parasitic worm to design a microneedle device that's more than three times as powerful as conventional surgical staples -- without the risks and side effects. The technology, described online Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, could be used for delicate procedures such as skin grafts for burn victims and face transplants. They could even be used to deliver drugs into the body. Current post-op techniques come with major drawbacks.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Twilight's" creator Stephenie Meyer clearly has a few obsessions she can't quite shake: interspecies romance, love triangles and color-coded eyes - red-rimmed if vampires are involved, silver for the sci-fi aliens of "The Host. " All those elements appear in writer-director Andrew Niccol's adaptation of the bestselling author's bid to move beyond fogged-in Forks and vampire love. But if you were hoping for some simmering passion à la Bella-Edward-Jacob from "the souls" - the parasitic invaders taking over earthling bodies - pick up the book.
NEWS
March 13, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Tapeworms are among humanity's oldest parasites, and were even studied by the ancient Greeks, yet a safe, effective cure to "bladder-worm" infection remains elusive. Part of the difficulty, scientists say, is that an adult tapeworm can live relatively harmlessly in a host's gut, but its larvae will spread through the host's body, like cancer, forming cysts in organs and other tissue. In some hosts, which include dogs, pigs and sheep, infection can lead to blindness, epilepsy or death.
NATIONAL
December 22, 2012 | By Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times
Fly over northeastern Minnesota with "Sky Dan" and you'd see a moose. One time, he spotted 15 of them during an hour flight. The pilot was so confident, he even offered those on his aerial tours a money-back guarantee. "If you didn't see a moose, you didn't pay," Dan Anderson, 49, said. No longer. Anderson stopped providing refunds to customers in 2008. He was handing back too much money. PHOTOS: Rescued animals -- Boots, Feisty and more The state's iconic moose population has been mysteriously declining for years, a drop-off that pushed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this month to propose labeling moose a species of "special concern.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 1997 | MARTHA L. WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A 10-year-old boy whose brain was invaded by tapeworm larvae was back at home late Monday, smiling. When Bernardino Gonzalez left Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, "he was happy, upbeat and more than just a little glad to go home," said hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson. Bernardino was airlifted to the hospital Friday night after suffering a seizure and collapsing in the shower at his home in Sylmar.
REAL ESTATE
March 12, 2000 | ANDREA KITAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Question: We have horses where we live in Ventura. I've heard they can contract a disease from opossums. What is this disease? B.G. Ventura Answer: The disease is equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, and is transmitted from opossums to horses when they eat or drink where infected opossums have defecated. The organism responsible for EPM is a parasite, Sarcocystis neurona, a protozoan or microscopic single-cell organism.
NATIONAL
October 9, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
Anyone up for a nice, refreshing, early-autumn swim on the Nevada side of Lake Mead? Well, steer clear of Boulder Beach, which has been infected with - ick - swimmer's itch . Rangers say that an above-normal waterfowl population may be to blame for the poison ivy-like rash that was reported by at least a dozen swimmers over the weekend. Also known as schistosome cercarial dermatitis , swimmer's itch is caused  when flatworm parasites that are found in some birds burrow into human skin and cause an allergic reaction.
SCIENCE
July 21, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
Attempts to control malaria — which kills about 1 million people a year — have traditionally focused on the use of drugs to treat the disease and insecticides to kill mosquitoes. Now some scientists have devised a sneakier strategy: feed mosquitoes a genetically engineered bacterium that will kill the malaria parasite from within. Insecticides have a major flaw, said Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, a malaria expert at Johns Hopkins University and an author of the new study. "When insecticides are used — say, inside of houses — many of the mosquitoes in the area get killed but some will always survive.
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