Oh God, Here We Go

“Ee-ville cat piss made me do it!”

A parasitic microbe commonly found in cats might have helped shape entire human cultures by manipulating the personalities of infected individuals, according to a new study.
Infection by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii could make some individuals more prone to some forms of neuroticism, and could lead to differences among cultures if enough people are infected, says Kevin Lafferty, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In a survey of different countries, Lafferty found that people living in those with higher rates of T. gondii infection scored higher on average for neuroticism, which is defined as an emotional or mental disorder characterized by high levels of anxiety, insecurity or depression.
…One recent study showed that the parasite makes normally cautious rats outgoing and more prone to engage in reckless behavior, such as hanging around areas frequently marked by cat urine, making the rats easy targets.

I can see it now ~ all those Miracle Whip types pointing wobbly fingers of blame at Sylvester.

9 Responses to “Oh God, Here We Go”

  1. Mike Rentner says:

    I don’t get the miracle whip gag. What does it mean and who are they?

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Toxoplasma gondii
    Any relation to Mahatma?

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Mike, start here for beginings of the whole spread.

  4. You’ll need to invest a little time to catch up on this one, Mike. (There are those among us who know EXACTLY who and what I’m talking about…)

  5. Bingley, JINX!! JINX!!

  6. Nightfly says:

    So what they’re saying is that half of DU and Kos’ readers are blotto on cat piss.

  7. Precisely. It’s science.

  8. Mike Rentner says:

    Geez, I’m sorry I asked, and I still don’t understand it, but now I’m glad that I don’t.

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