By Kathleen McAuliffe: This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society

O tell my students about what normal people would consider to be disgusting but which I am intensely interested in It helps when I put things up that are kind of intense about diseases and medical situations to let my students figure out whether they have the stomach for this kind of thing This book is an incredible boon to my knowledge on the bugs that impact our lives I keep telling my students we have thousands of bacteria in our gut but I m going to have to expand that number McAuliffe does an incredible research and writing job on the why and when and how microbes invade us humans What s really interesting is how many of these microbes find ways to live with us commensallythey do get something from us but we also get something from themI was actually very disappointed when the book ended earlier than I thought it would I could have used a lot info on various bacteria Really though some of professional reviewers practically scare a person into thinking this will be a horrifying rideit isn t It s a very thought provoking one A fascinating book Initially uite gorey it gradually settles down to draw together behaviors illustrated into a broader discussion on the effects of parasites of different kinds on various species including humans Pursuing concepts that would otherwise be uite far removed from most people s expectations and imaginings but which seem entirely plausible when considered in context the author considers cultural conflicts in the real world right up to those still being contested in the present dayThis is an engrossing book a well written page turner in fact impossible to put down It introduces a whole new aspect to so many issues that can so easily get stuck in sterile arguments This is a good book on the subject of the interaction of parasites and their hosts written by a non specialist in the field As such the book is well written gaining much of its information from interviews of experts in the field I liked the early part but could not go along with the latter chapters of how much they had affected our thoughts and emotions. L views Drawing on a huge body of research she argues that our dread of contamination is an evolved defense against parasites and a double edged sword The horror and revulsion we feel when we come in contact with people who appear diseased or dirty helped pave the way for civilization but may also be the basis for major divisions in societies that persist to this day In the tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel and Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish This Is Your Brain on Parasites is both a journey into cutting edge science and a revelatory examination of what it means to be human.

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R to the major advances in this field We meet a number of the scientists involved and learn about their findings What is well accepting what is still being studied and what is controversial are clearly presented as such The book is well footnoted so ou can look the research up Siege of Heaven (Demetrios Askiates, yourself onlineHere s an overview of the chapters1 The beginning of the study of parasites and microbs effecting the behavior of animals and humans2 Malaria and other insect carried disease Focusing on manipulations that get parasites where they need to go to survive3 More manipulations including caffeine in flower nectar to manipulate bees4 Toxoplasma and humans A look at what can happen when parasites get into the wrong host5 Rabies toxocara roundworms and other parasites that effect our essential sense of self our moods appetites behaviors and reasoning abilities 6 Gut microbiota Manipulations that are beneficial mostly7 How gut microbiota effect our weight8 Behavioral immunity things animals and humans instinctively do to heal our wounds and protect us from parasites9 How the emotion of disgust helps protect us from parasites and disease10 The relationship between disgust and prejudice11 The relationship between disgust religion and politics12 Maybe we ve underestimated parasites political clout Maybe they permeate our entire worldview Maybe geopolitics should be taught from a parasite s point of view Really A look at how the prevalence of parasites and disease effects cultureSome new and interesting research is presented here in a enjoyablees really manner I would note that I have read several books and a number of research papers on gut microbiota but McAuliffe still came up with very interesting research that I was unaware of This book offers a lot to think about with far reaching impacts on our personal health and the state of the world I thoroughly enjoyed this book With that title I was fully prepared for a bit of grossnessbut I found the book to be a lot less gross and of something to ponder about In teaching microbiology physiology and pathophys I often have Une to the profound influence of parasites Organisms we pick up from our own pets are strongly suspected of changing our personality traits and contributing to recklessness impulsivity even suicide Microbes in our gut affect our emotions and the very wiring of our brains Germs that cause colds and flu may alter our behavior even before symptoms become apparent Parasites influence our species on the cultural level too As McAuliffe documents a subconscious fear of contagion impacts virtually every aspect of our lives from our sexual attractions and social circles to our morals and politica.

This book set me on the path to looking at the world in a different way an unabashedly parasite centric way We are microbe than humans Some of our unconscious may be controlled by pathogens Gut microbiome influences our brains behaviors and even personality Do The Jump Artist you know how Wellou can read it (www, yourselfSave for anthelmintic how parasites affectouAre The Violet Hour you happy to have high standards of hygieneWhat doou think about the stomach churning emotion disgust visceral vs moral disgustHow politicians harness disgust sensitivityHow about Hillary Clinton s extended bathroom break during a Democratic primary debateDo Biscuit Recipes you wonder about whetherou have the larger anterior insula relative to total brain sizeDo Childhood, Youth and Exile you want to get the answers Read itourselfRemember the following tips1 eat vegetables that have been scrubbed throughly 2 wear gloves while gardening 3 cook meat well or if The Order 2 you prefer it rare fr I thought this was going to be a book about how microbes affect us but it is about science studies and animals Excellent book I ve been interested in this topic for manyears and this book brings a lot of different research together in one place Great introduction But develops some really interesting themes I recommended it to a friend who is doing a phD in cross species virus transmission and she d heard of it and said it was well regarded in her field even though it s aimed at people who are not expertsReminds me a bit of The Wisdom of Whores by Liz Pissani which is also excellent Opened my eyes to what is within our bodies as well as without A very enjoyable read Made me uestion the concept of free will McAuliffe s article on toxoplasmosis in the 2012 Atlantic How Your Cat is Making You Crazy is probably the reason for the word parasites in the title but the subtitle How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society is a accurate portrayal of the topic of this excellent book For example the human gut microbiota think probiotics are well covered in this book but they are certainly not parasitesMcAuliffe does a great job of introducing the reade. A riveting investigation of the myriad ways that parasites control how other creatures including humans think feel and act These tiny organisms can live only inside another animal and as McAuliffe reveals they have many evolutionary motives for manipulating their host's behavior Far often than appreciated these puppeteers orchestrate the interplay between predator and prey With astonishing precision parasites can coax rats to approach cats spiders to transform the patterns of their webs and fish to draw the attention of birds that then swoop down to feast on them We humans are hardly imm.

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