The twists and turns of Toxoplasma

A unicellular parasite with a helical approach to life.

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When I tell people I study Toxoplasma, they always want to know more. So I give them a brief overview of the bug's lifecycle, and then I usually say something like, "It's a beautiful parasite, really." They laugh uncomfortably at the idea of a disease agent being aesthetically appealing, and then they walk away from me. In an effort to express my views better, wrote a blog post about the helical pattern that appears repeatedly in Toxoplasma's physiology, which is one aspect of this parasite that I think is beautiful. Spirals appear again and again in our universe, and I think it's curious and cool that even microbes can provide examples of this pattern that nature seems to love so much.

Go to the profile of Saima Sidik

Saima Sidik

Research Associate, Whitehead Institute

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