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Finding Dracula’s silver bullet: the fight against a bloodthirsty fungus

That's correct, the darkness loving, light fearing, blood sucking prince of darkness, Count Dracula was a fungus. In our recent research, we describe that just like Dracula, the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus "wants your blood". The parallels are uncanny, both prefer dark places (Dracula: a coffin,... click to read more

  • Joe Hsu | Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
Views 4742
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jan 16, 2019
The mystery of mistletoe mitochondria

Mistletoe is an evergreen parasitic plant that lives on trees and steals water and nutrients from them. It features in European folklore as a symbol for fertility and vitality, is a well-known addition to Christmas and is also known to comic fans as the main... click to read more

  • Andrew Maclean | Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Wellcome Centre For Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection & Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  • Janneke Balk | Project Leader at Department of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
  • Etienne Meyer | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Views 6004
Reading time 4 min
published on Dec 21, 2018
Bloody-Minded Parasites and Sex

Most plants and animals reproduce sexually. Why is sex so common? This question has intrigued scientists for generations. Even Darwin pondered its prevalence. Sex occurs when two organisms merge their genetic material. Sexual parents produce genetically distinct offspring. Many organisms, however, reproduce asexually, meaning a... click to read more

  • Kayla Stoy | PhD student at Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • Amanda K. Gibson | Assistant Professor at Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Views 6367
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Sep 17, 2018
Human gut parasite has a sinister use for its stolen genes

It is well established knowledge that bacteria routinely exchange genes between unrelated species, creating an extensive network of information flow independent of sexual reproduction. By acquiring new genes, each being a blueprint for a single protein, the bacteria gain also the functions the proteins perform... click to read more

  • Lukáš Novák | PhD student at Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Views 7384
Reading time 3 min
published on May 18, 2017