Toxoplasma gondii aka parasite in cat faeces

Hugh

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#1
A bit late in the day, but I was bemused by this item in the news recently:

Can a cat-poo parasite turn you into a millionaire?

There were several articles about in the press, this particular one was the one easiest for me to find.

The gist of it is that those infected by this parasite are 80% more likely to start a business than those who haven't been.
Likewise, students who have been infected are 40% more likely to major in business at university, and 70% more likely to emphasise "management and entrepreneurship" in their business studies.

I don't know to what extent this is "silly season" stuff, but if there is something in this story, I find it truly remarkable that the existence of a parasite in the brain can make one more likely to become a business entrepreneur.

If this is the case, I can't help wondering what parasites live in the brains of certain well-known business figures? By extension I wonder what parasites call the shots in the brains of certain well-known politicians? By further extension.... Who are the true rulers of the world?
 
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Vertigo

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#2
You have to be careful with the old correlation is not causation issue here. I might be just as likely that people who have been brought up with cats are (for some bizarre psychological reason) more likely to start a business/major in business etc.
 

Hugh

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#3
You have to be careful with the old correlation is not causation issue here. I might be just as likely that people who have been brought up with cats are (for some bizarre psychological reason) more likely to start a business/major in business etc.
This makes excellent sense!

Many thanks.
 

Robert Zwilling

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#4
If it makes the rodents unafraid of cats it creates an easy supply of normally unwilling customers for the cats self serve take out business. The microbe could also be Mother Natures concept of the Dr FeelGood "vitamin" shot.

I think microbes shape our bodies over a range of possibilities from good ways we think we did ourselves, functional things we need, stuff that is neither here nor there on the survival platform to situations that impact our lives in ways that don't end well if left untreated. The species barrier thing is probably based on situations where it happens to happen but is not the rule. Still it wouldn't be heartening if bodies are no different than a discarded log laying on the forest floor and microbes' impacts were only spurious side effects that had no lasting value.
 
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