Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Pesticides increase the risk of schistosomiasis, a tropical disease

Schistosomiasis is a severe infectious disease caused by parasitic worms. As an intermediate host, freshwater snails play a central role in the life cycle of the parasite. In a recent study published in the journal Scientific ...

Medical research

Snail slime: The science behind mollusks as medicine

Snails are well known for their lack of speed and their ability to upset gardeners. But there is growing scientific interest in the familiar sticky trail of slime they leave behind—and the medicinal value it may contain.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Under-fives should be priority for snail fever

Infants in some of the world's poorest regions are vulnerable to a common worm parasite infection and their treatment should become a priority, according to a study.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New protein could be key in fighting debilitating parasitic disease

A naturally occurring protein has been discovered that shows promise as a biocontrol weapon against schistosomiasis, one of the world's most prevalent parasitic diseases, Oregon State University researchers reported today ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Examining water-borne parasites that cause intestinal schistosomiasis

Water is essential for life on Earth. It is crucial for environmental and human health, necessary for food and energy security, and indispensable for continued urbanization and industry. One in nine people lacks access to ...

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Snail

The word snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the mid adult stage. When the word snail is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails.

Snails lacking a shell or having only a very small one are usually called slugs. Snails that have a broadly conical shell that is not coiled or appears not to be coiled are usually known as limpets.

Snails can be found in a wide range of environments from ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although most people are familiar with terrestrial snails, land snails are in the minority. Marine snails have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. The great majority of snail species are marine. Numerous kinds can be found in fresh water and even brackish water. Many snails are herbivorous, though a few land species and many marine species are omnivores or predatory carnivores.

Snails that respire using a lung belong to the group Pulmonata, while those with gills form a paraphyletic group, in other words, snails with gills are divided into a number of taxonomic groups that are not very closely related. Snails with lungs and with gills have diversified widely enough over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land, numerous species with a lung can be found in freshwater, and a few species with a lung can be found in the sea.

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