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SAVE the parasites

Brian Jones jbj at frc.maf.govt.nz
Sun Apr 17 15:23:24 EST 1994

In article <Co97LF.14L at zoo.toronto.edu> mes at zoo.toronto.edu (Mark Siddall) writes:
>I am not so sure that it is a purely philosophical question at all.  I've
>always been uncomfortable with the emphasis most parasitologists place
>on the disease aspect of parasitology.  I think that if this continues too
>much longer granting agencies and academic institutions will cease being
>interested in parasitology as a discipline in and of itself.  There is

My experience has been that granting agencies and academic institutions do
not like the idea of parasites or the study thereof. However, parasites have
this distressing habit of killing or imparing the growth of 'important' species.Whenever a serious pathogen makes itself felt economically, both industry and
state fund research - to identify the causative agent and kill it.

>so much more to parasitology that is left hardly explored in comparison
>to immunology, pathogenesis etc.  Take for example community-health, 
>biogeography, trophic interactions, biodiversity and so on.  Though
>these aspects are being championed by some parasitologists, too often
>they appear to be marginalized by so-called main-stream parasitology.

I agree - but outside of a few universities, no-one will fund this stuff. The
only way to get it approved for funding is to show that the end result will be
more efficient control.

Look at the flood of papers on the biology of caligid copepods once they became
a problem in fish farms.

Brian Jones 

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