Examining the age-old problem of parasites in a new way might lead to innovative solutions for equine parasite infections.

Scientists tend to think in certain traditional ways when they approach their chosen topic. It is often difficult to change or do things differently, and those that do are often considered heretics in the field. Author Gregory Maguire, who wrote the book Wicked, described his retelling of classic fairy tales by looking at them from a different proverbial camera angle. These new "shots" would bring different characters and happenings in the story into focus and provide an alternate perspective. Creative thinking is all about taking a subject you know and looking at it in a new way.

Scientists have been studying parasites for centuries. Many research hours have been spent developing new treatments, finding out their effects on the host, and even examining the life cycles. Some parasitologists are now approaching the subject of parasites from some interesting alternate angles.

An Ecological Perspective to Parasites

Researchers are examining parasites through a wide-angle lens, using an ecological perspective and dialoguing about how parasites should fit into the "food web" theory.

Discover magazine ran an article by Carl Zimmer recounting the fact that every living thing in nature has at least one parasite living with it or in it, and the higher level species often have many more. In fact, Michael Sukhdeo, MSc, PhD, professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, tells us, "We estimate that 60