Parasite Rex Essay

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Book Review For our semester book review, I chose to read the book Parasite Rex, written by Carl Zimmer. The book covered everything to do with parasites, from how they may harm us to how they are actually in some ways beneficial. At first I was a little apprehensive reading this book, but I quickly was very interested in the subject. Zimmer not only was able to relate facts to a general audience and his fellow colleagues, but he also raised many questions and instead of giving a biased answer, he was able to show both sides to the argument. Throughout the book I felt like overall the main purpose of the author was to inform the general public, along with other people in his field, about not only different types of parasites and their functions, but also how they relate to us and our world. It explains how the parasite is able to survive in such harsh conditions as those found in our immune systems and places such as our stomachs. He really focuses on answering questions pertaining to what our earth would be like without parasites, but also how they harm people in many ways. He also talked a lot about how animals and even humans have tried to adapt to parasites. My favorite example of this is when he talks of cows. Cow manure not only fertilizes the grass around it, but is also a hot spot for parasites. Cows have slowly begun to keep their distance from the manure and the tall grass surrounding it because of the chance of parasites infecting them. He even provided facts that show that animals such as caribou, which have very long migrations, sometimes actually plan their route around known parasite infested areas. Now that’s what I would call adapting! Although at first I found this book somewhat difficult to comprehend at first, I would now recommend it to anyone. Zimmer really knows how to relate the hard facts to our lives to today and present his points

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