Toxoplasma: The Zombie Parasite
From Scientific American: Toxoplasma’s Dark Side – the link between parasite and suicide, 4 July 2012
Not withstanding Tod Akin, toxoplasma gondii is arguably the planet’s most interesting parasite.
This single-celled protozoan lives and breeds in the guts of cats, producing egg-like cells which pass with the cats’ bowel movements. Amazingly, that it how you get elected as an official in Missouri.
The toxoplasma parasite finds its way into other animals that come in contact with cat poo. Because cats rarely wash their hands after going.
Once in this new host, the parasite changes and migrates, eventually settling as cysts in various tissues including the host’s brain. It’s like witchcraft, and amazingly it makes the host fall in love. With cats.
Toxoplasma can only continue its life cycle and end up a happy adult in a cat’s gut if it can find its way into a cat’s gut, and the fastest way to a cat’s gut, of course, is to be eaten by a cat. Which is why, when a cat lady dies, the cats like to eat her face.
Incredibly, the parasite has even evolved to alter its hosts behaviour and help ensure that this occurs. Or if you are a Republican, this zombie making parasite was designed by God.
Rat and human brains are very similar. In rats, Toxoplasma infection hijacks the brain’s neurochemical pathways, making them lose their fear of, and even become sexually aroused by, the smell of cats’ urine. The equivalent in humans is women who are attracted to men who drink Stella Artois.
Stella Artois, which has tried to shed the popular nickname of wife beater for many years, say they are vindicated by the evidence of a strong link between Toxoplasma and both schizophrenia and violent suicide, arguing that women who date men that drink beer tasting of cats’ piss probably beat themselves up.
People with a Toxoplasma infection are more than twice as likely to have a car accident. Although that may just be the Stella.
There is a strong link between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia. So no, you weren’t imagining it, women who have cats really are mental.
Around 1/3 of people on Earth carry these zombie parasites in their heads. We’re not saying the cats are in charge, but…
The jokes came from the article at
Kim Kardasian claimed that getting through divorce was like beating cancer.
As in her husband was the patient and the cost of the treatment meant he lost his house. On the plus side he no longer has to speak to Kim Kardasian.
From a New York Times Article, 7 September 2012
The Vietnamese government is treating some people exposed to Agent Orange, the defoliant sprayed by American troops during the Vietnam War, using a detoxification method developed by the founder of the Church of Scientology, according to doctors involved in the program. They have been astounded by the alien technology.