The Worm Wagon
The top image in this trio shows a close up of an adult Trichuris muris, a whipworm parasite. Here the worm is seen under an electron microscope but more commonly this type of worm is seen taking residence in the large intestine of its host.
In the second image you can see illustrations of Schistosoma mansoni by Paul Evans © 2012. This parasite lives in the blood and lays thousands of eggs which result in tissue damage and even death.
BBSRC-funded Sheena Cruickshank (centre of picture) and Professor Kathryn Else (right), are lecturers at The University of Manchester who specialise in studying parasites. Both are co-founders, with Dr Jo Pennock (left), of the outreach activity called The Worm Wagon: an exhibition that is part of the BBSRC’s 20th Anniversary Festival. This exhibit will focus on explaining how people catch infections and the global significance of these infections.
When not on the Worm Wagon their day to day research tries to understand the biology and immunology of parasite infection. Part of Sheena’s research is finding markers we can use to help diagnose patients who respond badly to infection and those who don’t. Professor Else concentrates more on vaccine research and how the damage caused by infection is regulated.
This research is vital considering the biggest killer of people under 50 is infection.
Images of Trichuris muris from Uta Rossler, Richard Grencis and Toby Starborg FLS, UoM.
Image of researchers by Mark Waugh, UoM.
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