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Old 04-26-2015, 08:20 PM   #11
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Awesome stuff! It's like the black spot disease in freshwater.


If I remember correctly,

Snails pick up the black spot from the fish, birds eat the snail, and then poop in the water to infect the fish. Without the birds carrying the disease for a time it won't be able to infect fish.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
Awesome stuff! It's like the black spot disease in freshwater.


If I remember correctly,

Snails pick up the black spot from the fish, birds eat the snail, and then poop in the water to infect the fish. Without the birds carrying the disease for a time it won't be able to infect fish.
Exactly like that! That's a really good example of an indirect life cycle, which is where a parasite has multiple hosts but only one final or "definitive" host. (Ich, conversely, is an example of a direct life cycle). If you've ever heard of toxoplasmosis- or heard that you aren't supposed to change a litter box while pregnant- it involves a parasite with an indirect life cycle. The details are gruesome so I won't explain here, but if anyone is interested PM me and I'll explain why toxoplasma is only dangerous when pregnant (it's an interesting bit of evolutionary biology).

The interesting thing about this particular parasite we're studying is that until recently it was only documented to infect green crabs- not lobsters. Nobody is really sure when it started infecting lobsters, how it started infecting lobsters, or if using crabs as bait has anything to do with it. Hopefully at the end of the summer we'll have at least some leads on the answers to those questions!
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:38 PM   #13
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Exactly like that! That's a really good example of an indirect life cycle, which is where a parasite has multiple hosts but only one final or "definitive" host. (Ich, conversely, is an example of a direct life cycle). If you've ever heard of toxoplasmosis- or heard that you aren't supposed to change a litter box while pregnant- it involves a parasite with an indirect life cycle. The details are gruesome so I won't explain here, but if anyone is interested PM me and I'll explain why toxoplasma is only dangerous when pregnant (it's an interesting bit of evolutionary biology).

The interesting thing about this particular parasite we're studying is that until recently it was only documented to infect green crabs- not lobsters. Nobody is really sure when it started infecting lobsters, how it started infecting lobsters, or if using crabs as bait has anything to do with it. Hopefully at the end of the summer we'll have at least some leads on the answers to those questions!
Yeah, we covered toxoplasmosis earlier this year in my OB class. Nasty stuff.


You will have to keep us informed of the research. I'll be looking forward to hear about it. What species of green crab did it originally infect?
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:45 PM   #14
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I think a great idea would be to bury your fellow intern in sand next to some open food. Then when the sea gulls come by he/she jumps up.

You'd be scaring multiple birds with one... stone I guess.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:45 PM   #15
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Yeah, we covered toxoplasmosis earlier this year in my OB class. Nasty stuff.


You will have to keep us informed of the research. I'll be looking forward to hear about it. What species of green crab did it originally infect?
Oh, so you know the horrors of toxoplasmosis... but did they tell you WHY it does that? I learned it in my aquaculture parasitology class, and I thought it was fascinating.

I'll keep you updated as much as I can. Obviously I can only share so much as this will end up being published research, although I doubt there's a bunch of scientists stalking aquarium forums for dumb undergraduate interns.

The green crab in question is Carcinus maenas, which is native to the Northeast Atlantic but invasive prettymuch everywhere, including the Maine coast. They've outcompeted native rock crabs, which are a major source of food for lobsters, and so lobsters have been eating green crabs- even more reason to worry about this parasite.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:48 PM   #16
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I think a great idea would be to bury your fellow intern in sand next to some open food. Then when the sea gulls come by he/she jumps up.

You'd be scaring multiple birds with one... stone I guess.
I forsee this idea ending with someone getting bird poop in their face and/or someone getting their eyes gouged out by an angry seagull.

That someone isn't me though, so I'm all for it! Unfortunately I won't be there when he's scaring the poop out of birds; I'll be cooped up in a stuffy lab playing around with test tubes and pipettes and bits of lobsters and fancy $50,000 machines- er, I mean, doing serious science! (As Adam from the myth busters said, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down!)
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:51 PM   #17
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Interesting crab. Although, it would be interesting as a possible control method for some pests in salty tanks.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:03 PM   #18
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I forsee this idea ending with someone getting bird poop in their face and/or someone getting their eyes gouged out by an angry seagull.

That someone isn't me though, so I'm all for it! Unfortunately I won't be there when he's scaring the poop out of birds; I'll be cooped up in a stuffy lab playing around with test tubes and pipettes and bits of lobsters and fancy $50,000 machines- er, I mean, doing serious science! (As Adam from the myth busters said, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down!)

That Adam quote is funny. "I reject your reality and substitute my own" is my favorite of his.

I'm assuming the 50G machines are PCR machines (thermal cyclers I think they are also called).
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:14 PM   #19
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That Adam quote is funny. "I reject your reality and substitute my own" is my favorite of his.

I'm assuming the 50G machines are PCR machines (thermal cyclers I think they are also called).
That is another one of my favorite mythbusters quotes. Rounding out my top 3 is Adam, doing a bad french accent; "Today we will be combining two of my favorite things- red meat, and high explosives, hahaha!" Mythbusters were a huge influence for me as a kid, they made me want to go into science.

And yes! You are absolutely correct, the 50K machine is (one of) the PCR/thermal cycler machines.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:43 PM   #20
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