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View Diary: The fetus is a parasite. (122 comments)

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  •  It is 100% accurate to call the fetus a parasite. (15+ / 0-)

    Every semester when I teach a segment on different forms of symbiosis, I ask my students the same question about the fetus.  Is it mutualism, commensalism , or parasitism? About 80% end up in the parasite camp - maybe 20% argue for  mutualism.   As a biologist I don't see it as an insult to call the fetus a parasiste - many organisms go through different phases during their life cycles.  

    •  Seriously? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ubertar, historys mysteries, Avila

      Doesn't there need to be a difference of species between the organism that invades the host in order to call the organism a parasite?  

      •  Not necessarily. (6+ / 0-)

        A fetus does have different genetic makeup than the mother, so technically, even though its the same species, it's still a foreign body.

        •  That doesn't make sense. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, Avila, chipmo

          Particularly when half of the genetic material comes from the "host" and the host's body contains specific organs to support the growth of the fetus.  And the relationship of the fetus to the mother is mediated by the placenta, with the system of connections it has to the uterus (growth of new blood vessels, etc.).

          And regarding health risks and benefits, there are studies showing that pregnancy may help reduce incidence of ovarian cancer and that breastfeeding may help reduce possibility of breast cancer.  

          You and I could probably go back and forth on this for awhile.  I think part of my problem with this diary is that you insist both that it is your opinion and that it is scientific fact.  The facts chosen and the way those facts are arranged are up for debate.

          •  Please (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            refer back to the very beginning where it says:

            Please, remember, this is an opinion piece.
            There's a reason I stated that.

            Also, I did back it up with scientific research. Just sayin'.

            I'm not telling anyone they are wrong or right. This is something I posted as to how I feel about pregnancy, fetuses, babies and parenting. Whether you take it personal or not, is all up to you. :)

            •  I get it, since it's your opinion, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pozzo, Avila, chipmo

              I should either agree with you or just shut up.  

              I'm not taking it personally.  I'm saying it's a bad argument to use politically, since you were the one who brought up anti-choicers and their use of fetal imagery.  

              •  You don't (0+ / 0-)

                Have to shut up! I don't want you to shut up, dear! Opinions are welcome here, don't think that just because I stated my stance, that you're not allowed to post yours. Not at all!

                "BAD! You can't challenge me!!!!Just shut up because  I know everything!" is not my mindset. :)

              •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

                I am not using this politically. Again, this is my opinion piece. I don't know where you got politics from any of that.

                •  But you posted it on a political web site (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo, Avila, historys mysteries

                  You made this political reference: "Consider this just like those exploited photos of miscarried late term fetuses that Anti- Choicers parade around."  And you use a highly-charged term, backed up with some scientific evidence, that has been used before by some pro-choice advocates in order to counter the anti-choice "the blastocyst is a baby" argument.  

                  Yeah, it's your opinion piece, but it's got politics written all over it!

                  •  The reason (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    IndyReader, Pandoras Box

                    why I posted here is because I like the people here. No whiny, obnoxious teens, I can talk about whatever I want without having some deranged tween flailing text speak at me, and I am able to express my views here. Just because this is a political site doesn't mean every blog post on this site is politically motivated.

                    Regarding the Anti- Choice reference: why can't I state that without someone feeling like it's political? It's not. If you choose to view it as such, go ahead. But nowhere was this meant to be political! Haha!

          •  Complications of pregnancy kill women. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama, Pandoras Box

            Lots of women. Here in the U.S. (best health care system in teh world!!1!), complications of pregnancy are among the top ten causes of death for women aged 15-44. It varies between 6th and 7th most common by age bracket, with women in peak childbearing years experiencing the greatest likelihood of death.

            Most common causes of maternal mortality: hemorrhage, complications of eclampsia/HELLP syndrome, and peripartum cardiomyopathy. This shit can kill ya. I landed in the neurosurgical intensive care with a brain hemorrhage associated with HELLP syndrome myself. Multi-system organ failure sucks shit.

            It's one of life's great unsolvable mysteries that childbearing is simultaneously natural/healthy and potentially devastating. I've started telling students it's kinda like running marathons or skydiving: peak life experiences if you're into that kind of thing, but not something you'd want to do involuntarily or without preparation.

    •  Mutualism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SneakySnu, chipmo
      Mutualism is the way two organisms of different species biologically interact in a relationship in which each individual derives a fitness benefit (i.e., increased or improved reproductive output). Similar interactions within a species are known as co-operation.
      Mutualism is a positive reciprocal relationship between two species. Through this relationship both species enhance their survival, growth or fitness.

      So why do so many of your students not see this as an example of mutualism (since we are ignoring the "different species" part of the definition of mutualism and parasite)? After all, the survival of the human species depends on this interaction and on the survival of the fetus.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 09:32:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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