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Observations Note of Parasites Inside the Human Body

Posted April. 02, 2004 22:40,   


Observation Note of Parasites Inside the Human Body

Writer: Robert Berkman / Translator: Lee Eun-ju

237 pages, 15,000 won

Welcome to the republic of the human body. I am an officer at the entrance of the republic of the human body. Even though there are a total of a billion cells in this republic, official citizens among them constitute just 10%. Accordingly, my duty is not to expel 90% of the non-citizens, but to differentiate brutal criminals from the others.

The guide that you are holding has a list of men wanted by the police. Although it includes self-destructive terrorists, such as Ebola virus, our main subjects for special control are usually destructive criminals. We can divide them into “the type dwelling outside,” such as Arthropoda, “the type dwelling inside,” such as parasites, and ‘the type that infiltrates,” which is known recently.

The most splendid type dwelling outside is a flea. When we released 270 fleas for rabbits and three rabbits into a 2,500 pyong filed, every one of the 270 fleas was found in the rabbit’s body. In the case of human fleas, it is their ability to jump from a 100,000 km field to a truck which is running at the rate of 640km/hr. However, the highest-ranking type is the housebug. The housebug is a perfect criminal, which drinks blood while injecting chemicals to make humans scratch. We should be careful, in respect that mites, living inside the dust or the hair of wild animals, are the main cause of asthma and itches.

The highest-ranking player of the type dwelling inside is the roundworm. Roundworm, which is ranked as the most successful parasite on earth, is known to dwell inside of at least 12.5 hundred million human bodies. Considering that roundworm just eats food in the republic of the human body after fixing itself in the intestine without any special harm, however, it is just a “parasitic being.” On the other hand, trichina, which usually infects pork, makes a hole in the intestine to go out and make other holes in the liver and the lung. The cruelest one is Dracunculus medinesis. After living in fleas as larva, it perforates not only the intestine but also the tissue under the skin of the leg. Especially when arrived at the surface of the skin, it causes intense pain and a water blister. And Dracunculus medinesis comes out of the skin. If we try to pull it out at that time, however, it causes fatal shock. Accordingly, we should remove it very slowly for several days. Since this kind of treatment was so common in the ancient times, the creepy interpretation of a snake going up a Kadukeus stick, the symbol of medicine, is actually Dracunculus medinesis.

The highest-ranking criminal that infiltrates is plasmodium. It is the cause of malaria, which has affected half of all human beings on earth before, and is still found in 1.2 million-3 million people. It was finally revealed at the end of the 19th Century that malaria, meaning “bad air” in Latin, is not caused by bad air, but because of plasmodium. Helicobacter pylorus, the criminal of gastric ulcers, was finally decided as guilty in the 1980s, and pneumonia chlamydeous was recently indicted as the cause of heart attacks.

The guide also introduces the activity of non-citizens which are doing work in the republic of the human body. The cause of mouth odor is volatilizing sulfurous chemical (VSC) that bacteria produce in the process of decomposing amino acids inside the mouth. The odor of passing gas is also caused by VSC, which is made by bacteria in the intestine in the process of decomposing amino acid including sulfur. Corynebacterium, dwelling inside armpit hair, makes not just the odor of sweat but also pheromones, seducing the other sex.

Please don’t make the mistake of stopping reading before finishing the guide. There is also information that bacteria more seriously infect the kitchen than bathroom, humorous sentences, and the chance of seeing pictures of the criminals.

Chae-Hyun Kwon confetti@donga.com