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Thursday, June 22, 2006

You Are Probably Infected With Toxoplasma

Posted by on June 22 at 13:40 PM

And scientists are just beginning to figure out what that means. This is, plain and simple, a fantastic story and somebody should win a prize for it.

This parasite is everywhere, it is mostly benign but can cause serious brain damage, produces little egg-like things called oocysts that can live for a year in the ground and contaminate drinking water and get this: It may be the reason people like cats.

As if that’s not enough (and it is), the story has this incredibly beautiful image:

Scientists added a firefly gene to the parasites so that they produced a glow. When they injected the parasites into mice, a little of the light escaped from the animals. By putting the mice in a darkened box, Barragan and his colleagues could track the parasites as they spread.

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So, can I have your brain then?

"Several studies suggest a correlation between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia"

So what they are saying is that ailurophilia (love of cats) is a disease which is closely related to schizophrenia.

That explains a lot. The world suddenly makes at least a little more sense.

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