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Parasite in Cat Poop Could Reduce Fear of Failure

La Crosse, WI, United States / Classic Rock 100.1
 Parasite in Cat Poop Could Reduce Fear of Failure

SOURCE: Pixabay


A mind-controlling parasite found in cat feces may give people the courage they need to become entrepreneurs, researchers reported Tuesday.

They found that people who have been infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite are more likely to major in business and to have started their own businesses than non-infected people.

The parasite, which makes rodents unafraid of cats, may be reducing the fear of failure in people, Stefanie Johnson of the University of Colorado and colleagues said.

They haven’t actually shown that. But toxoplasmosis does get into the brain, and it’s been linked to a variety of mental effects in mice and people alike.

It has been linked to a greater risk of “car accidents, mental illness, neuroticism, drug abuse and suicide,” Johnson and her colleagues wrote in their paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It might be affecting message-carrying chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, or hormones such as testosterone, they wrote.

In particular, scientists have studied whether the parasite might increase risk-taking behavior.

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