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Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creaturesby Carl Zimmer
Synopses & Reviews
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction.
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.
"As Zimmer shows, parasites are the real drivers of evolution: we live at best only arm's length from the unseen creatures that control our lives. Zimmer loves his subject, and his treatment is gentle rather than sensational: the understatement only heightens the horror. Read Parasite Rex and shudder — your dinner-party conversations will never be the same again." Henry Gee, Senior Editor at Nature and author of In Search of Deep Time
"Carl Zimmer is one of the finest, most engaging science journalists today. He has demonstrated once again his ability to present scientific concepts in arresting, understandable prose." Paul Hoffman, author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers
"Bacteria and viruses have received all the press when it comes to plagues. In this vividly written book, Carl Zimmer explores the complex world of worms, protozoa and other terrifying creatures that pose an equally great public health threat around the world. These organisms are even more subtle and challenging enemies, and Zimmer provides an excellent introduction to them." Christopher Wills, author of Yellow Fever, Black Goddess
In this re-issued paperback edition with a new epilogue, Carl Zimmer reveals the power, danger, and beauty of parasites in “a book capable of changing how we see the world” ( Los Angeles Times ).
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes readers on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life-forms—which are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life’s diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior. His vivid descriptions bring to life parasites that can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.
This comprehensive, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us all about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe—the laws of Parasite Rex.
About the Author
Carl Zimmer is the author of At the Water's Edge and a frequent contributor to Discover, National Geographic, Natural History, Nature, and Science. He is a winner of the Everett Clark Award for science journalism and the American Institute of Biological Sciences Media Award. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Prologue: A Vein Is a River First sightings of the inner world
Further Reading and Selected Bibliography
What Our Readers Are Saying
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