Thursday, March 7, 2013

Who’s in Charge Inside Your Head? -

Who’s in Charge Inside Your Head? -

That’s right: zombie bees. First reported in California in 2008, these stranger-than-fiction creatures have spread to North Dakota and, just recently, to my home in Washington State.
Of course, they’re not really zombies, although they act disquietingly like them, showing abnormal behavior like flying at night (almost unheard-of in healthy bees), moving erratically and then dying. These “zombees” are victims of a parasitic fly, Apocephalus borealis. The fly lays eggs within honeybees, inducing their hosts to make a nocturnal “flight of the living dead,” after which the larval flies emerge, having consumed the bee from the inside out.

These are R pests that can grow like a contagion, without Oy predators they can grow exponentially in number. In some ways the US economy was infected with zombie like home loans prior to the GFC, R people who were usually poor and even nomadic fruit pickers were able to buy million dollar homes on little or no deposit. Their aim was to resell these in the boom to make a profit to provide for their families like the parasitic fly did. The result of so many liar loans was a bizarre market that seemed to be growing because R and B people had a lot of secret income, however it was often parasitic where the usual predators looking out for this fraud where abetting it as Iv subprime agents. The center of the food chain or I-O police were weakened and deregulated allowing this self interested parasitism to grow so large as to be systemically dangerous. 
These events, although bizarre, aren’t all that unusual in the animal world. Many fly and wasp species lay their eggs inside hosts. What is especially interesting, and a bit more unusual, is the way an internal parasite not only feeds on its host, but also frequently alters its behavior, in a way that favors the continued survival and reproduction of the parasite.
Not all internal parasites kill their hosts, of course: pretty much every multicellular animal is home to numerous fellow travelers, each of which has its own agenda, which in some cases involves influencing, or taking control of, part or all of the body in which they temporarily reside.

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