Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cats as symbiotes... no, it's not what you think

There's a really interesting article about cats and toxoplasmosis in the Times. Cats carry the toxoplasma gondii parasite and it's very easy for people to catch it. The long-term behavioral effects aren't entirely clear but it looks like it has a somewhat negative effect on men and a somewhat positive effect on women. What I found particularly interesting is that this parasite makes rats less afraid of cats... not necessarily a survival trait for rats, but a really great symbiosis for a parasite carried by cats.


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