"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

January 10, 2010

January 4 - Taenia saginata

Did you overindulge at the holidays? Gym's been too crowded? Well, there might be another solution: infect yourself with the beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata! These cestodes can be 5 meters in length and were, in fact, marketed as weight-loss tools...though it's not recommended as they can cause malnutrition and other health problems that offset the removal of holiday pounds. Humans can become naturally infected when eating undercooked beef if it comes from unsanitary conditions.


  1. what kind of parasite can glue thier eggs to the outside of your skin, then when hatched burrow into your skin and feed on your blood?

  2. I find this interesting because when I was younger, we learned in school that some people used to take tapeworms as a weight loss program. It is interesting to be able to put a worm to the health craze. It is also interesting to see another side to the story, because at first glance this may seem like a solution to many problems, but in fact it can cause many health problems as a result of eating something that turns into an enormous worm in your body. I really don’t understand how people could think that ingesting an enormous gut worm was a good idea.