Sunday, May 1, 2011

Schistosomes

For those of you who are curious about the artwork on our Thank-You notes, it is a picture of a mated pair of schistosomes, drawn by our own Jessica Beyer.  As is mentioned on the back, schistosomes mate for life in a very dedicated way, which is one of the reasons why Jessica and Thayer find them so fascinating.  You can read more about them on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomes

They infect a variety of mammals, including ruminants, hippos, and humans.  They are a major source of decreased quality of life in many tropical third world countries and is the second most devastating human parasite (after malaria):
http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/schistosomiasis/

Despite all this, most people are largely unaware of schistosomiasis, and don't realize that even small donations can make a big difference in helping countries which suffer from schistosomiasis.  We welcome and encourage any and all donations to the schistosomiasis control initiative, an Imperial College organization that works to treat schistosomiasis and other helminth parasites througout sub-saran Africa in areas most afflicted by the parasites.  Treating schistosomiasis is actually one of the most cost-effective way to increase standards of living in third world countries.  Even a dollar is enough to treat a person for a year of parasite-free life, so feel free to donate even a small amount of money.  Or, if you don't feel like donating in British pounds, you can also donate to doctors without borders  which deals with many problematic third world parasites.

2 comments:

  1. absolutely riveting and mildly disturbing

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  2. I think your picture is adorable!!

    ReplyDelete