Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures

By Carl Zimmer

Synopsis: 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.

Published: November 2001 |  ISBN-13: 978-0743200110

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Our Interview: Science Book a Day Interviews Carl Zimmer

Parasites! These creatures have such complex lives it took scientists decades to work out their life cycles. They are so supremely well adapted to their lifestyle that they can live alongside, even inside, the most advanced defense system ever conceived: our own immune systems. Carl takes us around the world on an emotional journey encountering the diseases, the horrors, and the scientific challenges faced by humanity in the field of parasitology. He breaks the subject into manageable, accessible pieces, using real life examples to nurture a horrified fascination for these parasites in readers which borders on admiration. – @scienceartreach – Mhairi Stewart. Thanks to Mhairi for suggesting the book.

NYTimes Book Review
ACampbell Book Review
Bluesci Book Review
NeilMcAllister Book Review

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