TWiP 5 – The nurse cell

March 4, 2010

ncparacomp1Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Vincent and Dick discuss the nurse cell, a unique structure formed in the host muscle by Trichinella species.

Download TWiP #5 (57 MB .mp3, 79 minutes)

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson Every Living Thing by Rob Dunn


Send your questions and comments to


Subscribe to TWiP (free) in iTunes, by the RSS feed or by email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment on “TWiP 5 – The nurse cell

  1. Daniel Kim Oct 26, 2017

    I just heard about this podcast. It is really interesting, and a good alternative to getting worked up over politics.

    There was a matter brought up several times during this series: Some parasites do not have aging genes, and can be serially passed through different hosts without senescence. I am a fan of the Star Trek series, and there is one character who seems to reflect this phenomenon. A character named “Dax” is a member of a species of aliens that act as hosts to an internal symbiote. The symbiote is like a large worm, and is serially passed from one individual to another, allowing it to live for centuries. As it does, it conveys the memories and personality traits of the previous hosts to the new one, with associated changes in personality and acquisition of knowledge and skills. To be chosen as a host is therefore considered an honor.

    I thought you might find this interesting. I am sure that the fictional arrangement described was created coincidentally, without knowledge of the apparent immortality of real parasites.