Pharyngula

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The New England Journal of Medicine sometimes provides great stuff to read over breakfast, like this story of a man who returned from a trip to Hungary with his guts infested with worms, Enterobius vermicularis. OK, so it’s not much of a story…but the cool thing is that they provide a movie clip of his colonoscopy, and you can watch the worms writhe.

(via Over My Med Body)

Comments

  1. #1 george cauldron
    March 30, 2006

    Has the Hungarian National Tourist Board officially responded yet?

  2. #2 Sergio
    March 30, 2006

    What does Entero-obvious eat?

    intestinal mucosa?

  3. #3 flea
    March 30, 2006

    Oh my god. I had a puppy once that had worms, and I was so horrified by the content of his b.m.’s that I had to get my upstairs neighbor to scoop it into a plastic bag for me so I could get him treated at the vet. There’s no way I could watch that video.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2006

    No, they don’t eat you…they eat your leftovers.

  5. #5 Melanie Reap
    March 30, 2006

    That clip made me have “intermittent, crampy pain.”

  6. #6 wÒÓ†
    March 30, 2006

    That is awesome.

    If you haven’t grabbed a copy of it yet, Zimmer’s Parasite Rex is a fantastic read.

    Bonus: it contains photos of Gillian Anderson and H.R. Giger’s Alien.

  7. #7 Pastor Bentonit
    March 30, 2006

    Thanks PZ, even if that was a wee little bit more information than I needed right now 😉

  8. #8 Jason Malloy
    March 30, 2006

    Ew, they navigate through flesh like it’s water. I don’t quite get how they don’t leave gaping bugs bunny holes in their path, though. Shouldn’t all the burrowing create all kinds of nasty carved up trails on the colon walls?

  9. #9 wamba
    March 30, 2006

    Please tell me this is an early April fools day joke:
    25,000 teens rally in San Fran. against ‘virtue terrorism’

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Declaring that a “reverse rebellion” is afoot among American teenagers today, more than 25,000 of them rallied in San Francisco March 24-25 against what they consider the “virtue terrorism” propagated by an immoral culture.
    .
    “We’re sick and tired of pop culture telling us it’s cool to sleep around, dress like tramps, get high on drugs and alcohol, and behave badly,” 18-year-old Amanda Hughey from Orange County, Calif., said. “Life is not MTV, and if we continue to live like we’re starring in those outrageous music videos, our generation is doomed.”

    If the rally was in San Francisco, why would the dateline for the article be Nashville? Why would such goody goody moral teens miss a school day to partake in a protest?

  10. #10 Carlie
    March 30, 2006

    Wamba,
    Nope, it’s real. It was in the SF chronicle, 3/25, headline “Evangelical teens rally in SF”.

    Think someone could pass out treats to them with E. vermicularis eggs? Naah, that would be too mean…

  11. #11 cm
    March 30, 2006

    Uh oh. Pharyngula is going the way of “That’s Incredible!”. I remember how I enjoyed that show as a child (1980s), and then it started turning disgusting/horrific on a regular basis, lots of eyeball trauma, etc., and I had to stop watching it. First the mouse torture millipede, now this. Maybe PZM is culling the herd for only those blog readers who have a high tolerance for disgust and observing cruelty?

  12. #12 djlactin
    March 30, 2006

    “if there’s anythng to this reincarnation thing, in my next life i want to come back as some sort of intestinal parastite because, man, this is where i take it easy” –jack handey

  13. #13 Ali
    March 30, 2006

    That is so freaking cool. Those look remarkably like what I saw squirming from my cat’s butt once.

  14. #14 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2006

    They aren’t burrowing through flesh, they’re frolicking in the mucus secretions lining the gut lumen.

  15. #15 BronzeDog
    March 30, 2006

    Uh oh. Pharyngula is going the way of “That’s Incredible!”. I remember how I enjoyed that show as a child (1980s), and then it started turning disgusting/horrific on a regular basis, lots of eyeball trauma, etc., and I had to stop watching it. First the mouse torture millipede, now this. Maybe PZM is culling the herd for only those blog readers who have a high tolerance for disgust and observing cruelty?

    You might not see me around for a while, then. Took chemistry instead of biology in high school, since I didn’t have the stomach to dissect fluffy.

  16. #16 HP
    March 30, 2006

    Has the Hungarian National Tourist Board officially responded yet?

    In a public statement earlier today, a spokesman for the Hungarian National Tourist Board said, “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

  17. #17 Lee Billings
    March 30, 2006

    This story has infested my body and brain with the heebie-jeebies.

    The most disturbing part is, this fella really didn’t have much in the way of symptoms. Who doesn’t get cramps every now and then or a little bowel discomfort?

  18. #18 skblllzzzz
    March 30, 2006

    A friend of mine who used to ride horses once told me that a horse can get killed if an intestinal worm infection gets out of hand. The worms can take up all available space in the gut to the point of bursting.

    To prevent an infection he gave his horse a small union every day. At first the horse will have to learn to like unions, but after a while it will regard an union as a treat.

    I assume the sulfuric acid from the unions is what the worms don’t like…..

  19. #19 george cauldron
    March 30, 2006

    “We’re sick and tired of pop culture telling us it’s cool to sleep around, dress like tramps, get high on drugs and alcohol, and behave badly,” 18-year-old Amanda Hughey from Orange County, Calif., said. “Life is not MTV, and if we continue to live like we’re starring in those outrageous music videos, our generation is doomed.”

    The organization is based in Nashville. The march was in San Francisco. And they had to go all the way to Orange County to find teenagers willing to say gibberish like that. Makes sense in a way.

  20. #20 george cauldron
    March 30, 2006

    They aren’t burrowing through flesh, they’re frolicking in the mucus secretions lining the gut lumen.

    PZ, I’ve never had any problems with your atheism, but your use of ‘frolicking’ there has me seriously worried.

  21. #21 george cauldron
    March 30, 2006

    In a public statement earlier today, a spokesman for the Hungarian National Tourist Board said, “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

    My nipples explode with delight!

  22. #22 wswilso
    March 30, 2006

    Has the Hungarian National Tourist Board officially responded yet?

    In a public statement earlier today, a spokesman for the Hungarian National Tourist Board said, “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

    Obviously an artifact of machine translation.

  23. #23 craig
    March 30, 2006

    The creepy thing about evangelical teens rallying is that you know it had to have been organized by people who were hardly teens. Old people. Not that many teens don’t believe what they are saying, but those kinds of teens need to be led – they don’t come up with rallies like this on their own. It’s not in their nature. Would be sort of like chaining themselves to police cars to protest civil disobedience.

    The really funny thing is they didn’t go to LA to protest even though what they complain about is pretty much generated there – they went to SF… because as all religious nutjobs know, everything immoral comes from San Francisco.

  24. #24 george cauldron
    March 30, 2006

    The really funny thing is they didn’t go to LA to protest even though what they complain about is pretty much generated there – they went to SF… because as all religious nutjobs know, everything immoral comes from San Francisco.

    Indeed, even tho MTV is from LA. I think they just went to SF because they wanted to get in the face of all the wicked homo secular humanist liberals. I’d be surprised if a single teenager in their rally came from SF.

    I hope Amanda Hughey is homeschooled (likely), because if she’s not, she’s gotta be one of the least popular kids in ANY high school I could think of.

  25. #25 Dawn O'Day
    March 30, 2006

    Jeez Louise, first the giant centipede and now this. I hope this site isn’t evolving into a giant gross-fest.

  26. #26 fwiffo
    March 30, 2006

    First the mouse torture millipede

    It was a centipede. Millipedes are vegitarians, you bastard.

  27. #27 Rocky
    March 30, 2006

    Really puts a spin on “you are what you eat”!

  28. #28 Sergio
    March 30, 2006

    But how do they breathe? I dont think there can be a lot of oxygen there ok?

    Unless Entero obvious can breathe farts?

  29. #29 dolphin
    March 30, 2006

    Okay, as a hungarian I have to take this personally. 😉
    I dunno what this guy did in Hungary, but as someone who has lived 5 years in Philly I am pretty sure that, in normal circumstances, the chances to get something like that are about the same in Hungary and the US. At least I never met a single hungarian who had such symptoms in the past 28 years (that doesn’t mean there aren’t any, just it is really rare…). It might occur sometimes in smaller villages where sanitation levels are lower, but as far my memory goes, a good handwash should block the spread of the parasites…

  30. #30 Jason Malloy
    March 30, 2006

    They aren’t burrowing through flesh, they’re frolicking in the mucus secretions

    In the merry, merry month of May?

    I think in my over-horrified state I perceived them disappearing and resurfacing.

    Also I had Guinea worms on my mind after the recent Times article.

  31. #31 Abie
    March 30, 2006

    Worms have objections to unions?
    I’m puzzled.

  32. #32 John C. Randolph
    March 31, 2006

    Praise god for sending forth the multitude of parisitic afflictions to punish us all for not washing our hands enough!

    -jcr

  33. #33 Grimgrin
    March 31, 2006

    Abie, my first reflex is a cheap political joke comparing the traditional opponents of unions in industry and pro-buisness conservativism to the invertebrates pictured abouve. I won’t give in to this reflex, after all comparing parasitic worms dwelling in mucous to Enterobius vermicularis is just not fair.

    *rim shot*

  34. #34 Dark Matter
    March 31, 2006

    cm wrote:

    Uh oh. Pharyngula is going the way of “That’s Incredible!”. I remember how I enjoyed that show as a child (1980s), and then it started turning disgusting/horrific on a regular basis, lots of eyeball trauma, etc., and I had to stop watching it. First the mouse torture millipede, now this. Maybe PZM is culling the herd for only those blog readers who have a high tolerance for disgust and observing cruelty?

    These “cruel” things are happening beneath your very feet
    everyday. If a cat does it, does that make cats vicious “mouse torturers” also? Should we get rid of domestic cats that
    kill mice?

    Or is it ok for cats to hunt and kill rodents and not insects
    because we as humans have a sentimental attachment to cats that
    we don’t have to insects?

    Have you read “Charlotte’s Web”?

  35. #35 HP
    March 31, 2006

    Worms have objections to unions?

    No, no, to onions! That’s how Hungarians can eat all that wormy meat and not get worms. Our American friend must have made the mistake of ordering his paprikash without.

    That’s why, whenever I’m in Buda-Pesth, I always say, “Több hagymák, legyen szíves. Én külföldi.”

  36. #36 Tom Ames
    March 31, 2006

    I had a college biology professor who claimed once that if you could strip away all of the flesh of living mammals, leaving behind only the parasitic nematodes, you’d still be able to see their ghostly forms in the remaining worms.

  37. #37 skblllzzzz
    March 31, 2006

    “No, no, to onions!”

    Thanks for the correction, HP! Those worms seemed fairly united, btw ;-)……

  38. #38 dolphin
    April 1, 2006

    HP

    that onion thing sounds to mee like a typical urbal-legend…

  39. #39 skblllzzzz
    April 1, 2006

    Any horse whisperers around to shed some light on the onion myth?

    As for worms disliking unions; mayby it is mutual……

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