Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times, where his "Matter" column appears each week. He also writes for magazines such as National Geographic and Wired and is the author of a dozen books. Zimmer joined the staff of Discover in 1990 and served there as a senior editor from 1995 to 1999 ...
But as much as a tapeworm or a blood fluke may disgust us, parasites are crucial to the world’s ecosystems. Their extinction may effect entire food webs, perhaps even harming human health. Parasites deserve some of the respect that top predators have earned in recent decades. Wolves were once considered vermin, for example — but as they disappeared, ecosystems changed. Scientists realized that as top predators, wolves kept populations of prey in check, which allowed plants to thrive.
A rich supply of nutrients fosters a food web that includes single-celled algae, bottom-dwelling worms and other animals. This ecosystem ultimately supports such predators as fish, penguins and whales. Climate change is a big concern here, because heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are having their biggest impacts near the poles. Computer models predict that in 50 years the Southern Ocean will warm by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit within a century.
Last week I let you know about my upcoming series of talks about life. Here's an update with the details of the full schedule. All four events will take place at Caveat in Manhattan:9/6 I'll kick off the series with the fundamental question, "What is life?" First I'll talk to a philosopher, Carlos Mariscal, about why this question is so hard to answer--perhaps because the question itself doesn't make sense.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".