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Microscopic organism changes mamal behavior

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posted on Sep, 22 2003 @ 10:45 PM
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Scientists have discovered a one-celled protozoan parasite called Toxoplasma gondii that frequently lives in the brains of wild brown rats. It is a normally harmless parasite commonly found in most mammals, including man.

But T. gondii can only reproduce in the guts of cats.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the past couple of years have been studying the parasite and now have found it appears to be influencing the behavior of rats.

Scientists say it makes infected rats unafraid of cats, their natural enemy.

But the Oxford researchers found that when infected, normally super-cautious rats not only are significantly less fearful of cats, but they also are actually drawn to them.


www.orlandosentinel.com...

The idea of a microscopic organism that can influence the behavior of its host is enough to keep me up at night. If this one creature can do it, what else is out there that hasn't been discovered yet?




posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 02:41 AM
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The military will have great interest in this story!



posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 02:02 AM
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is this why the cat ladies are always crazy ?



posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 10:59 PM
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thats interesting. One tiny single-celled organism controling something as complex as rats.



posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 11:11 PM
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This is an interesting find. The Gov will definetly love this.



posted on Sep, 29 2003 @ 09:09 AM
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As the article says, it already exists in humans and has for thousands of years.


arc

posted on Sep, 29 2003 @ 09:14 AM
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A friend told me about this last week - she'd read it in a free paper on a train. The article she saw focussed mainly on the organism's effect on human behaviour - men apparently becoming more 'tom-cat' and women becoming more promiscuous and generally 'mad old cat lady' (I fully own up to being one of these)

I wonder if dogs 'infect' their owners with anything similar? Sometimes I can pick up who is a 'dog-person' and who is a 'cat-person' before they mention their preferances



posted on Oct, 4 2003 @ 03:45 PM
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Could be a quick fix to fear in war.
Not suprised if the usa military already knows about this though the ammount of drugs they pump into there service men.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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I find this article "mind-blowing" ..excuse the pun ...

paraphrasing ... it inhabits rodents but needs CATS to reproduce ! It therefore manipulates the cat's BRAIN to go near feline urine!

also it metions a parasite that tricks caterpillers to climb to the tops of trees ... melt in the hot sun ..and then "rain" down on unsuspecting mammals to keep its lineage moving.... wow

I have been studying narcissist/pathological behavior lately .. and the symptoms seem similar ...

Cats ..then Caterpillars ... something stinks about this article ..and the ultimate C-Theorist in me purrs set-up.

The Zombie Apocolypse is coming and its due to crazy cats ..... never woulda thought.

On the other hand .. as clever and mighty as we humans think we are sometimes .. it seems we could easily and quickly be Androemeda Strained by a slick, sense-of-humor filled micro-organism ,,,,



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Mycroft

The idea of a microscopic organism that can influence the behavior of its host is enough to keep me up at night. If this one creature can do it, what else is out there that hasn't been discovered yet?


There are a number of organisms that hijack another species and alter its behavior. Toxoplasma is one of the better known. It may be one of, if not a primary cause of schizophrenia. And yeah, it's probably why cat ladies are nuts. What better way to spread yourself as an organism than by altering someone's behavior to care for your host carriers?



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by THENEO
The military will have great interest in this story!


Oh, USAMRIID's been interested in the influence of human behavior by infectious agents for quite some time.

Also, IIRC, there was one of the lesser known MK series that looked into that. Not at work, don't recall the series name, could be misremembering.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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That's crazy to think that the single cell can alter its host ,After all these big strands of organisms and flu strands I'm surprised that someone has not release a big event to the populas






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