Get Rid Of Your Cat - It May Kill You

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by pspr, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. pspr


    No one would accuse Jaroslav Flegr of being a conformist. A self-described “sloppy dresser,” the 63-year-old Czech scientist has the contemplative air of someone habitually lost in thought, and his still-youthful, square-jawed face is framed by frizzy red hair that encircles his head like a ring of fire.

    Certainly Flegr’s thinking is jarringly unconventional. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.

    The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis—the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease’s end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells—or at least that’s the standard medical wisdom.

    But if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that’s not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”

    An evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague, Flegr has pursued this theory for decades in relative obscurity.

  2. soooo, what does this have to do with men? If there are any women on this site that lurk in P&R. Be advised that your cat may present a danger.

    But, almost every woman I know gets rid her cats when she gets pregnant, some old folk wisdom or something.:D
  3. pspr


    You really need to work on your reading comprehension.

    Maybe if you go to the link and read more of the article, the repetition will allow something to sink in.
  4. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    I would have thought this thread was started by Mvector, but if it had been, I'd never have seen it in the first place.
  5. pspr


    Glad you looked. Occasionally I see something that isn't P&R but is either important enough, interesting enough or funny enough (IMHO) that I put it up here for my friends to read. Usually they scroll off pretty fast but hopefully I've helped someone here.
  6. Lucrum


    Knock up a lot of the girls in the hood do ya?
  7. Wouldn't want the cost of feeding a cat to cut into the welfare check for having an illegitimate child, you know.
  8. I'd be getting rid of you before my cat.
  9. I never understood cat people anyway. Cats are horrible animals and awful pets.
  10. Racist:D

    But that is who you are. So it's all good:)
    #10     Feb 13, 2012