The courage had to start This business could be buried in a litter box. A parasite found in cat feces can alter the human mind to make us less scared, a new study has found.
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects an estimated 2 billion people worldwide. Also seems to change the behavior of rodents, so they are not afraid of cats. Scientists at the University of Colorado have hypothesized that the beetle could affect humans in a similar way, making them more dangerous to risks – for example, in the economy.
Although more research is needed, they found correlations: people who carried the parasite were almost twice as likely as other participants to set up their own businesses, while college students picking up the bug were 1.4 – were more often large companies.
The study, led by Privatdozentin Stefanie Johnson, was published on Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
T. Gondii is tied to the heightened risks of "auto accidents, mental illness, neuroticism, drug abuse and suicide," according to researchers NBC News. Previous studies suggest that it alters the chemistry and behavior of the brain, especially in the context of dopamine, the chemical that is associated with pleasure.
More than 60 million people in the United States can carry the parasite, Centers for Disease Control said, often after contact with raw meat or cat feces. It is often unnoticeable, as the human immune system normally defends the symptoms.
In rodents with the parasite, the lack of fear for cats makes them more likely to be eaten. This works well for the parasite, which once reproduces itself within the cat.
So, what could it do to humans? The researchers tested about 1,500 students and about 200 participants in corporate events to find out if they were wearing T. gondii. Twenty-two percent were rated positive overall, NBC News Notes.
The researchers also went to databases from 42 different countries per Sky News. By comparing infectious data with entrepreneurial activity, they concluded that "the infection prevalence at the national level was a consistent, positive predictor of entrepreneurial activity"
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