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Parasitology Labs

Dr. Peter W. Pappas pappas.3 at osu.edu
Wed Apr 8 11:02:05 EST 1998

In response to several comments about how parasitology labs are (or
should) be run, I would like to point out that current federal, state
and university regulations and policies make it virtually impossible
to make a parasitology lab interesting (let alone exciting).  Want to
do a life cycle experiment in the lab that uses almost any vertebrate?
You'll need animal protocols for every species used.  Want to go down
to the local river and catch a few fish to see if they're infected
with parasites?  Still need a protocol.  Find a road kill and bring it
into the lab to post?  Forget it?  Where I work, you can't even bring
a dead animal (most vertebrates) into the lab.  And what if a student
cuts himself (herself) while posting the dead animal and gets an
infection (or even worse)?  Find a good lawyer.  Oh, to returhn to the
"good old days" when I took parasitology.  I never passed up a road
kill when driving to school, much to the dismay of those riding with
me.  We often went to the local garbage dump with shotgun in hand and
returned to the lab with many seagulls --- saw my first pentastomid in
one.  We knew all the local commercial fisherman, and they were kind
enough to give us all their "left overs" (whole fish and lots of guts)
--- found my first and last cestodarian in one of those fish.  And,
there was even the occasional small whale or porpoise that washed up
on the beach.  Posting one of these in the parking lot always got lots
of attention.  Today's students will probably never experience
parasitology as those of us who took parasitology before all the
Dr. Peter W. Pappas
Department of Zoology
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH  43210
pappas.3 at osu.edu

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