And now, a few words about brain-eating amoebas


24 Responses to “And now, a few words about brain-eating amoebas”

  1. msbpodcast says:

    Dont tell that to Fox. 

    They’ve already got interviews with alleged experts (legends in their own minds) who are going to hype it up until they can blame Obama for inaction by the CDC on fighting this deadly plague.

    Murdoch may be in deep caca over TheNewsOfTheWorld, but he’s left orders to keep his name out of the news and to sling mud at Obama instead, even if his minions have to lie.

    • Andy Lester says:

      “even if his minions have to lie.”  That doesn’t seem to be too different from stating as fact tales you’ve imagined about what Murdoch has told people he works with.  

    • hassenpfeffer says:

      even if his minions have to lie”?!? His minions would self-combust if they were forced to tell the truth, before or after the scandal.

      I was laughing yesterday because my freebie 3rd-pty Twitter client was ad-pimping a story about the Murdoch scandal–from the Wall Street Journal. Yeahhhhhh. If I want that sort of accuracy, I’ll read Decision Points instead of Jane Mayer about U.S. torture.

  2. GreenJello says:

    On your list of things to worry about, brain-eating amoebas should be near the bottom.

    Geez, way to take all the fun out on my risky dip in the local lake!

  3. Gyrofrog says:

    The amoeba on the right is so nefarious, it doesn’t even look like an amoeba!

    “Shape of… a flagellate!”

    • Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

      Those are the same amoeba—N. fowleri—at different stages of its life cycle. And yes, N. fowleri is truly wily, indeed. 

  4. penguinchris says:

    This scene from Star Trek II, were Khan puts a brain worm in Chekhov’s… brain, is one of the things that stuck with me most from my childhood. I remember seeing it on TV or something when I was really young, and never forgot it.

  5. Rich Keller says:

    Since the amoebae “eat brains”, I’m genuinely surprised that no one has latched onto the moniker Zombiemoeba or Zomoeba. Or have I missed that somehow?

    @ Gyrofrog – The photo shows different stages of the amoeba. I didn’t know single-celled organisms did that. Kooky, huh?

  6. Asdfasdf says:

    This is a non-isssue.  The critter can be totally thwarted by a 20-cent nose clip.

    What Rupert Murdoc has to do with this I’ll be ****ed if I can see. You people are capable of haring off on some truly spectacular logic-free tangents.

  7. angusm says:

    What about great white sharks that swim up your nose and eat your brain? Should we worry?

  8. Mister44 says:

    re: “But is the fear justified?”

    Like most things we are afraid of – and that the media hypes – the answer is no.

  9. Kommkast says:

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself! …and brain eating zombie amoeba… but we can just brush that under the carpet and blame the minorities again.

  10. Franklin says:

    we need an amoeba-eradication program. drain the lakes!

  11. jacklebowitz says:


    Exposure to Fox News prior to contact with amoeba is responsible for enabling brain-eating parasite, causing zombification of about 30% of the electorate.  
     Constant low level exposure to Republican ideas in “red states” also has been reported to produce a similar effect in reducing the brain’s defenses to the brain-eating parasites. 

  12. Max says:

    “On your list of things to worry about, brain-eating amoebas should be near the bottom”

    So, where on the list do these bottom eating amoebas come? I can do without my brain, I hardly ever really use it, but I like to use my bottom to interface with my chair.

  13. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

    There you go, no need to worry, fixed it for you.  Until Shai-Hulud arrives, of course.

  14. semiotix says:

    We’re gonna need a smaller boat. 

  15. I’m much more worried about toxoplasmosis.

  16. Peter Mann says:

    Sounds like the least harmful kind of thing you could encounter whilst swimming.

    Come over here to AU for a week and try to go swimming… you’ll have a legitimate reason to be afraid!

    • flosofl says:

      No shit. I mean, what *doesn’t* envenom, poison, eat, pierce, exsanguinate, or otherwise maim and/or kill you in your native wildlife?

      Other than the sheep. And even then…

    • Mister44 says:

      I worked on an ad campaign for Australia’s Tourist Board. They rejected my tagline:

      “Australia. If we didn’t kill ya, we made ya stronger. Or put you in a venom induced coma.”

  17. swampgas says:

    I wrote about this critter back in the 1980s for Science Digest. The suggestion back then was a simple one: just blow your nose when you get out of the water. 

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