Door #9: The Parasite Behind Crazy Cat Ladies?

9 December 2007 at 0:56 Leave a comment

Filled with reports of off-beat research (or off-beat implications of otherwise garden-variety research), the annual “Year in Ideas” issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine has become a highlight of my December.

This year’s most amusing item:  Rebecca Skloot’s piece on a possible biological explanation for why “some humans develop an unhealthful attraction to cats and apparently become immune to the smell of their urine.”

Just the first paragraph had me and my housemate in stitches:

Here’s a little-known and slightly terrifying fact: According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 million people in the United States are infected with a parasite that may migrate into their brains and alter their behavior in a way that — among other things — may leave them more likely to be eaten by cats. New research into this common parasite — Toxoplasma gondii — may offer clues to the phenomenon known to the unscientifically-minded as “crazy cat lady” syndrome.

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Entry filed under: Humor, Julkalendar, News, Science. Tags: , , .

Door #8: I’m Just a Nutcracker Nerd Door #10: Gone Dinin’

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