Tapeworms, head lice, roundworms, and bedbugs don’t have a very good reputation. They are parasites, living on or in other organisms, embedded or attached, feeding off their hosts, causing painful bites and spreading disease. They serve no useful purpose—or do they?

In this UC Press podcast, author Rosemary Drisdelle, author of Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests, finds that contrary to popular belief, parasites are not always harmful, and can even have important benefits. And far from being insignificant, these constant companions may have helped to shape human history and culture.

Listen to the podcast now: [podcast]https://www.ucpress.edu/content/podcasts/11343.mp3[/podcast]