nursemyra has been reading a fascinating book: Survival of the Sickest by Dr. Sharon Moalem. it’s all about parasites, reproduction, genetics and evolution and is bursting with provocative theories and facts.
the chapter on toxoplasma gondii had me intrigued. this parasite can live in any warm blooded mammal but only reproduces sexually in cats. so how does it get from a mouse back into a cat if it’s horny? when a mouse eats infected cat droppings, T. gondii can manipulate Mickey’s behaviour.
the mouse becomes fat, lethargic and attracted to the smell of pussy. he virtually serves himself up for dinner. so what does this mean for humans?
Professor Flegr hypothesizes that women infected with T. gondii spend more money on clothes and are rated as being more attractive than those who are not. they are more easygoing, care more about their appearance and have a higher level of intelligence than their control group, but are also less trustworthy and possibly more promiscuous.
some researchers (Hatalski & Lipkin) are examing the possibility that genital herpes may affect human sexual behaviour. “…ganglion infection may modulate sensory input to sex organs leading to increased sexual activity and enhanced probability of virus transmission”
in other words, herpes wants you to get some action.
remember the nurse’s advice for her patients? practise safe sex, people. carry a condom at all times. and be extra careful around well dressed intelligent women…..
** hey, for once this is about serious research.