Toxoplasma from cats could alter human personality (about half the population infected)

cat eating ratA single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma lives in most cats’ guts, where it secretes eggs which are then picked up by rats and other cat prey. The parasite alters the chemistry of its host’s brain so it’s more likely to be eaten, because it stops avoiding the scent of cats. Poor buggers. Not too worrying, but it seems half the human population is also infected with Toxoplasma. Controversial studies have shown a small but statistically significant tendency in those infected to be more self-reproaching and insecure. Paradoxically, infected women, on average, tend to be more outgoing and warmhearted than controls, while infected men tend to be more jealous and suspicious.My recommendation: Don’t play with pussy, m’kay?Link: The Return of the Puppet Masters

2006.02.07