• Question: if you were going to a party, and the invite told each person to bring a flesh eating parasite, who or what would you bring?

    Asked by hazar to Tim on 18 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Tim Downing

      Tim Downing answered on 18 Nov 2012:

      Hi Hazar,

      Interesting question! The parasites I work on are called Leishmania (pronounced “leash-mane-ee-aa”) and are very small in comparison to human cells so I wonder how I would bring it? If you take a 5 cent coin, the biggest human cells are 100 smaller (0.1mm) and the parasite cells tend to be about 100 smaller again. They are grown in the lab in agar media cultures, which is like thin soup on a petri dish.