huerca zafada

bihet feminism lite, you credulous troglodytes

mabelmoments:

Toxoplasma gondii requires the cat digestive system for reproduction, so it hitches a ride in a rat (photo: flickr user cobalt123)

The Parasite That Makes a Rat Love a Cat

The life cycle of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii goes like this: Toxoplasma reproduces inside the intestine of a cat, which sheds the parasite in its feces. Rats then ingest the parasite when they consume food or water contaminated with cat feces. The parasite takes up residence in the rat’s brain and, once the rat gets eaten by a cat, it starts the cycle all over again.

Researchers have known for a few years that a rat infected with Toxoplasma loses its natural response to cat urine and no longer fears the smell. And they know that the parasite settles in the rat’s amygdala, the part of the brain that processes fear and emotions. Now a new study in the journal PLoS ONE adds another bizarre piece to the tale: When male rats infected with Toxoplasma smell cat urine, they have altered activity in the fear part of the brain as well as increased activity in the part of the brain that is responsible for sexual behavior and normally activates after exposure to a female rat.

The double messages of “you smell a cat but he’s not dangerous” and “that cat is a potential mate” lure the rat into the kitty’s deadly territory, just what the parasite needs to reproduce. Scientists still don’t know how the parasite works to alter the brain, though there apparently is a link to production of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter in the systems for decision-making and reward.

okay, I would accept this as a possible example of “queerplatonic”

(via allcreatures)

  1. mabeca reblogged this from allcreatures
  2. risque-de-chute reblogged this from linaevelovesyou
  3. linaevelovesyou reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    Science is so cool
  4. somethingkaty reblogged this from allcreatures
  5. ninjaperez reblogged this from allcreatures
  6. wordsthatcomefrom reblogged this from allcreatures
  7. shiftingpoint reblogged this from allcreatures
  8. la-mer-parle reblogged this from mabelmoments and added:
    This world is so complex and amazing.
  9. mr-squiggle reblogged this from kajikitsune and added:
    Reminds me of the book Peeps by Scott Westerfeld :O
  10. pinknoko reblogged this from allcreatures
  11. kajikitsune reblogged this from allcreatures
  12. kansasvegan reblogged this from xvxnasty and added:
    damn nature!
  13. oakenshielden reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    THIS IS VERY VERY SCARY
  14. silentlikesylvia reblogged this from speshal-k
  15. speshal-k reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    Mother Nature is a smart bitch :)
  16. alonelyconversation reblogged this from mabelmoments
  17. tania-nia reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    it’s about “Toxoplasma gondii”
  18. xtsamy reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    For all y’all APBio kids; present this to your teacher next semester and she shall be impressed.
  19. sqwrlydoom reblogged this from allcreatures
  20. science-stuff reblogged this from allcreatures
  21. oldmanyellsatcloud reblogged this from allcreatures
  22. c-a-p reblogged this from allcreatures
  23. mypersonalstronghold reblogged this from allcreatures
  24. lostinthewildernesss reblogged this from allcreatures