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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.
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?
Originally posted by THENEO
The military will have great interest in this story!