- I just picked up a book on parasites and it had many ideas that can be
used in GW. Here are a few:
Gender Benders- some bacteria control the gender of the organism it
infects. Since the bacteria can only be spread to offspring in eggs (due
to the cell size), some kill males, some turn males into females and some
turn males into pathenogenic females (females that don't mate and still
produce offspring). How this can be used in GW- what would a society be
like if the female to male ratio is 40:1 or even 200:1? And this can
happen to verebrates (many fish change gender due to age, population or
food). So if the Created developed a bacteria that killed off male
Mate Control- some other bacteria can decide what individuals its host
can successfully mate with. One insect population has 3 strains of one
species of bacteria and the insects can only produce offspring with those
with their strain. How this can be used in GW- this can break up whole
species and do weird things genetically (what if baldness was only in
those with one strain?). This could make a great plot devise for those
trying to weed out certain traits in species X. And unlike the gender
benders, this should be curable via antibiotics.
Mind Control- yes this is the cliched idea of sci-fi parasites, but it
does exist. The most famous example is a fungus that infects ants in the
Amazon and rewires their brains to make them climb trees to provide
height for spore dispersal.
As I find more I will post them.
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