Terrestrial Parasite Tracker To Help Human, Animal Health

Terrestrial Parasite Tracker is a new initiative created to collect information on parasites in the United States. As vectors of diseases, parasites play an important role in the health of humans, livestock and wildlife.

Researchers have tried to gather information from specimens in natural history museums, but often the specimens are not readily accessible. To combat this roadblock, 25 institutions have gathered with the intention to digitize more than 1.3 million parasites. Led by Purdue University and the Milwaukee Public Museum, this project is part of a $4.3 million National Science Foundation grant.

Dr. Jessica Light, associate professor at Texas A&M, says that more than 175,000 specimens from collections in the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections and the Texas A&M Insect Collection will be digitized. Digitization will allow the information to be placed online, where other organizations may access it to further their research.

The goal is for this project to support research that shows change in the distribution and behavior of terrestrial parasites over time. It is expected to advance scientific discovery in multiple areas, including human and animal health, wildlife research, and entomology.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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