Author Topic: Of Cats And Parasites And Mind Control  (Read 516 times)

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Offline trapeze

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Of Cats And Parasites And Mind Control
« on: February 10, 2012, 11:34:33 PM »
Okay, if that thread title didn't get your attention I just don't know what will. And yet, that is exactly what the linked article is all about. By the time you have read through the entire thing (and be forewarned it is very long but very, very interesting and readable) you will be wondering if your thoughts and behavior are being tinkered with by something too small to see.

This article gives a whole new meaning to that old saying about, "Sometimes the paranoid person is right...sometimes they really are out to get you. Maybe those guys with the tin foil on their heads aren't really crazy but instead are merely directing their concern in the wrong direction.

Quote
Certainly Flegr’s thinking is jarringly unconventional. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis—the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease’s end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells—or at least that’s the standard medical wisdom.

But if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that’s not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”


In a doomsday scenario, hippies will be among the first casualties. So not everything about doomsday will be bad.

Offline Libertas

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Re: Of Cats And Parasites And Mind Control
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 12:29:27 PM »
Great.  The micro-world has always kind of freaked me out, seeing as we know so little about it, this just confirms my fears.  Thanks a lot Trap!

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