jm + gross   5

Cordyceps even creepier than at first thought
Hughes’s team found that fungal cells infiltrate the ant’s entire body, including its head, but they leave its brain untouched. There are other parasites that manipulate their hosts without destroying their brains, says Kelly Weinersmith from Rice University. For example, one flatworm forms a carpet-like layer over the brain of the California killifish, leaving the brain intact while forcing the fish to behave erratically and draw the attention of birds—the flatworm’s next host. “But manipulation of ants by Ophiocordyceps is so exquisitely precise that it is perhaps surprising that the fungus doesn't invade the brain of its host,” Weinersmith says. [....]

So what we have here is a hostile takeover of a uniquely malevolent kind. Enemy forces invading a host’s body and using that body like a walkie-talkie to communicate with each other and influence the brain from afar. Hughes thinks the fungus might also exert more direct control over the ant’s muscles, literally controlling them “as a puppeteer controls as a marionette doll.” Once an infection is underway, he says, the neurons in the ant’s body—the ones that give its brain control over its muscles—start to die. Hughes suspects that the fungus takes over. It effectively cuts the ant’s limbs off from its brain and inserts itself in place, releasing chemicals that force the muscles there to contract. If this is right, then the ant ends its life as a prisoner in its own body. Its brain is still in the driver’s seat, but the fungus has the wheel.
biology  gross  cordyceps  fungi  fungus  ants  zombies  infection  brain  parasites 
22 days ago by jm
[Updated] Using a Dyson hand dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in a bathroom | Ars Technica
Clumping the data from all six heights together, the Dyson produced 60 times more plaques than the warm air dryer and 1,300 times more than paper towels. Of the viruses launched by the jet dryer, 70 percent were at the height of a small child’s face.


(vomit)
gross  hand-dryers  dyson  fail  health  bathroom 
april 2016 by jm
Cronenberg Valentines
Valentine's Day cards for you and yours, from one of cinema's true visionaries. How do you communicate the depth of your desire? Say it with Cronenberg Valentines.
david-cronenberg  horror  gross  naked-lunch  movies  valentines-day  funny 
february 2016 by jm
Unchi-kun Candy - Japanese Lucky Poop Candy
What doesn't look like Christmas more than a smiling piece of poop, called unchi in Japanese? Because the shape of unchi looks similar to that of mochi used for shrine offerings, and because the sound "unchi" like the Japanese word for luck, this treat is actually a lucky gift -- at least that is how you can explain yourself when you give it as a gift. Each Unchi-kun comes packed with poop candy, taken out from the bottom. Once finished eating, you can open the slot in the back with a box-cutter and turn it into a bank.


Want one!
unchi-kun  unchi  pile-of-poo  emoji  unicode  cute  funny  japan  j-list  sweets  food  gross  candy 
may 2014 by jm
How to Read a Scientific Paper (About That Researcher With a Nematode in His Mouth) - Wired Science
Let’s rewind to September 2012. It was about then- according to this recently published report (paywall) in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine – that an “otherwise healthy, 36-year-old man” felt a rough patch in his mouth, a scaly little area his right cheek. It didn’t hurt. But then it didn’t stay there either. He started testing for it with his tongue. It traveled. It moved to the back of his mouth, then forward, coiled backwards again. In the language of science: “These rough patches would appear and disappear on a daily basis, giving the patient the indirect sense that there was an organism moving within the oral cavity.”
nematodes  parasites  biology  medicine  paper  gross  funny  wired  mouth 
october 2013 by jm

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