Holding his half-full gourd of “chicha,” Walter Lewis smiles, wishing he didn’t have to drink another drop. It tastes so sour, like a combination of yogurt, warm beer and mashed potatoes. But the headman — the apu of the Achuar Jivura village in the Peruvian Amazon jungle — is looking him right in the eye. To refuse this friendship ceremony drink would be an insult to his hosts. Lewis...

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In the news

Take two parasites and call me in the morning

July 26, 2014

Two recent papers suggest that some parasites may be good for us. UBC botanist Laura Wegener-Parfrey and Julius Lukeš of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Research question our traditional perception of intestinal parasites. The papers offer a systematic review of cases where humans have deliberately ingested parasites for research and suggest that certain parasites could have beneficial effects on conditions such as Crohn's disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. More at Science Media Centre of Canada.

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