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One in Americans are controlled

Found at: gopher.erb.pw:70/roman/phlog2022/304.txt

One in 10 Americans are controlled by brain parasite

The single-celled protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is a fascinating
parasite. Replicating only in cat intestines, it is excreted in feces
and subsequently spreads to many other organisms, not just
felines. Inside these critters, it winds its way to the brain and
transforms into numerous cysts, patiently waiting to return to
its desired nine-lived host. But, though dormant, it is not entirely
inert. T. gondii actually alters its host's behavior. Mice, for
example, grow less fearful of cats, making them easier prey. 
Humans are also (https://bit.ly/3jgbj6t) affected by T. gondii.
About one in ten Americans and a third of people globally host
the parasite. And yes, it seems to sneakily mess with our minds,
too. Studies suggest that infested humans have ever-so-slightly
impaired motor skills, undertake additional risks, and get into
more automotive accidents. The parasite's presence is also linked
to an elevated risk of schizophrenia.
As new study published (https://bit.ly/3NGyUeh) in PeerJ finds,
T. gondii may also change humans' physical appearance. An
international team turned up a link between a latent infection
and facial attractiveness. The researchers recruited 213 healthy
college students at the National Autonomous University of
Mexico, all of whom had previously been tested for T. gondii.
Thirty-five subjects (22 men and 13 women) had the parasite,
while 178 (86 men and 92 women) did not. The researchers then
asked the subjects various questions and took pictures of their
faces.
Next, another 205 participants each viewed a random collection
of twenty of these pictures, ten of Toxoplasma-positive subjects
and ten of Toxoplasma-negative subjects, rating each pictured
participant for facial attractiveness and perceived health on a
10-point scale. (Raters were not told of participants' Toxoplasma
status.) Overall, raters judged Toxoplasma-positive subjects to
be significantly more attractive and healthy-looking than
Toxoplasma-negative subjects.


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