Parasites on the Brain
Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about on this fine Thursday, check out this interesting article:
Toxoplasma gondii may be the most prevalent human parasite. As many as 50% of humans worldwide, and up to 80% in urban areas, have been infected with it at some time in their lives. An estimated 60 million people in the US have active cases at any given time. Itâ€™s a single celled parasite whose favored host is cats. However it can infect and live in a host of other creatures including rats and humans. Most infected people, and most infected rats, show no particular signs of illness when infected. They continue on with their daily life and work completely unaware theyâ€™ve been parasitized. But they may not be as unaffected as they seem.
You could also pick up the bookÂ Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer for more fun parasite information.Â It’s part of my bookshelf that justifies my increasing paranoia about squishy things in biology.