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Health, Scientific progress

12 - 02 - 2016

Toxoplasma : a parasite that manipulates the brain

The parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis is known to suppress a rodent’s fear of felines, allowing it to complete its life cycle, which requires the rodent to be eaten by the cat. This same mechanism has just been discovered in Chimpanzees: when they are infected, they loose their aversion to leopard urine. I wouldn’t be surprising that the same mechanism operates in humans, being a recent prey of big cats on the evolutionary scale.