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PARASITE

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PARASITE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:56 pm

• parasite •

Pronunciation: pæ-rê-sayt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An organism that depends on a host for its own survival, contributing nothing to the host. 2. A person who lives at the expense of another person or other people without contributing anything in return, a sponger, a free-loader.

Notes: Today's questionable word has a fine, healthy family. The adjective is parasitic, the adverb, parasitically. The practice of living at the expense of others is parasitism and, if you do so, you parasitize your host. Remember that this word begins with the Greek prefix para- and, hence, has two [a]s, not an [a] and an [o].

In Play: Parasites are usually considered a plague: "Jim Nasiem's brother-in-law is a parasite who can't find a job and has been living off Jim for 3 months, now." Mistletoe, a botanical parasite that lives on trees, is an exception to this rule.

Word History: This Good Word began as the respectable Greek word parasitos "dinner guest" from para "beside" + sitos "grain, meal", someone who sits next to you at table. However, around 400 BCE, Greek comedy began featuring rude, sniveling dinner guests who were hard to get rid of. At this point the word began to take on the sense of "freeloader", a dinner guest who wears out his welcome. The Romans borrowed the word, like so many things Greek, as their word parasitus. Roman comedies often featured them. From Latin to French, from French to English, and there you have it: from dinner guest to parasite!
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Postby gailr » Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:29 pm

But a parasite who earns its permanent place-setting is a symbiotic parasite, such as our own largely-ignored mitochondria. Boo, freeloaders! Yea, ATP-producers!
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Postby KatyBr » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:11 pm

???
Last edited by KatyBr on Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KatyBr » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:24 pm

gailr wrote:But a parasite who earns its permanent place-setting is a symbiotic parasite, such as our own largely-ignored mitochondria. Boo, freeloaders! Yea, ATP-producers!
-gailr

I don't begin to understand Mitochondria , In fact I thought Mitoses were the funny little things on the end of my feet.
Biology is not my forte but I know if those parasitical flora thingies in the digestive system die off for whatever reason, it opens up a whole new world of understanding and things to think about.

Kt
(can you say King of the body? yes, I knew you could!)
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:06 pm

If I remember the biology I learned in medical school, the oxidative phosphorylation that is completed in the mitochondria produces some 36 - 38 molecules of ATP for every glucose molecule that is consumed as a substrate. If the process stops with glucolysis in the cytosol, only two molecules of ATP are produce. Thus our mitochondria help us to become 18 - 19 times as energy efficient as we'd otherwise be. «Parasite» is not the word I should use here - rather our hard-working slaves....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:08 pm

Those 'slaves' are paid in the coin they seek, survival....

Kt
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:16 pm

Let us hope that all slaves are....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:57 pm

the point is they desire to be there and are not slaves but are doing exactly as they wish.

Kt
slaves are nothing like that. real slavery still exists.
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