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Parasite Brainwashes Mice to Not Fear Cats

Science & Tech  (tags: parasite, brains, mice, study, science, interesting, effects )

- 1720 days ago -
A mind-altering parasite causes mice to become permanently fearless around cats, according to a new PLoS ONE study that further suggests this creepy parasite could be present in many human brains.

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Laura R (15)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 6:48 am
I heard about this last week in my veterinary course. It's amazing what parasites can do, and all the things that exist in this world. There's always something surprising. And apparently this parasite is nothing new.
Also, if an infected human has a normal-working immune system, the parasite can not do anything, so it's actually not deadly right away. It's only dangerous if the immune system is weak...

Michael O (176)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 7:16 am
Not fearing cats is the best way for a mouse (and the parasite in the mouse) to find its way back into its natural habitat (the cat's intestinal tract). I can certainly see how that would evolve as a distinct advantage for the parasite!

Mari 's (1356)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:11 am
Well, if they do that here dinner will happen with no effort.

. (0)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:22 am
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing, Giana.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:38 am
Old news

Kerrie G (116)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 9:37 am
Noted, thanks.

M B (62)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 12:35 pm
Noted, thanks. This is new to me.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:56 pm
Interesting. I guess this mind-altering parasite might have gone into the Republican brains (Sorry, I could not help it :-)

Kathleen R (138)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 4:52 pm
Thanks Giana. Hadn't read about this before.

Roger G (154)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 6:22 pm
noted, thanks

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:02 pm
Nature can be truly fascinating, something that the Republican party cannot be.
Altering the natural mindset of a species, that takes some doing and many parasites are such tiny things.

Maureen C (4)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 9:10 pm
This new study didn't tell us anything we didn't already know, if the article is complete and accurate. Didn't everybody already know that a lot of people and pigs have Toxoplasma cysts, and that infected mice are actually attracted to the smell of cat urine?

Toxoplasma g., and the rabies virus are the textbook examples of pathological organisms that cause behaviour modification in the host, and this has given them a survival edge.

Toxoplasma g. is also believed to be the cause of 'crazy cat lady' syndrome! :-)

Ruth C (87)
Monday October 7, 2013, 7:05 am
This is new to me!

Bob P (394)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 3:22 pm
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