Home » Evolution, News, Science fiction » Fri nite frite: Parasite messes with your mind, causes you to lose your fear of deadly assailants …

Fri nite frite: Parasite messes with your mind, causes you to lose your fear of deadly assailants …

Heck, relax, only if you are a rodent, afflicted with toxoplasma gondii

From Nature,

Toxoplasma gondii is known to remove rodents’ innate fear of cats. The new research shows that even months after infection, when parasites are no longer detectable, the effect remains. This raises the possibility that the microbe causes a permanent structural change in the brain.

This is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation to help the parasite complete its life cycle: Toxoplasma can sexually reproduce only in the cat gut, and for it to get there, the pathogen’s rodent host must be eaten.

Smart evolution that. When is the, um, IPO? ;) Just think what this would do for rodent control:

Note: This post was partially authored by Tom, Dick, and Harry, Ottawa area rescue kitties, who see this disease organism as a real benefit in combatting food shortages for both human and cat. And, like, what else really matters in life anyway?

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

7 Responses to Fri nite frite: Parasite messes with your mind, causes you to lose your fear of deadly assailants …

  1. META COMMENT

    The blogging software here is getting increasingly more broken or misconfigured. Specifically, when you enter a thread, the page reopens the same window several times, completely breaking the BACK button of the browser. A while back it used to reopen it only once, requiring two clicks on BACK button to get out of the thread. But now it has gone completely out of control. I am using the latest Mozilla browser if that matters.

    Back in dot-com era of 1990s, the scam sites and pushy marketing sites used to do that, in order to lock the customer on the page. But it has been a long time since I visited a site that does something like that any more.

    Can this problem be fixed?

  2. Thanks for the comment, nightlight. O’Leary for News went in by the front door* and the back browser button seems functional, at least in the system used (not Mozilla).

    We don’t, so far as I ever heard, harvest addresses or anything. In my region at least, the people who give us a bit of money for ads are not currently marketing anything either, so I can see no ads. This sounds more like a technical problem, but maybe other commenters will have better ideas.

    *I usually use the back door, so to speak.

  3. Nightlight, and to anyone who is having difficulties using this site with Mozilla Firefox browser.

    If you have adBlock plugin on your browser try disabling it first to see if it solves the problem.

    If it does, then enable adBlock, go to “filter preferences” and add this exception filter rule: @@|http://www.uncommondescent.com

    I haven’t looked into the exact cause of the issue, but it looks like an issue with web requests being called constantly in relation to the ads which keeps the page in a loading state which in a way “breaks” the back button.

    Hope that solves your issue, it did for me.

  4. If it doesn’t solve your issue, it’s likely another plugin “getting in the way”.

  5. While my Firefox does have NoScript blocker, I just tried it with vanilla Chrome (no extensions or blocking, default installation) and it shows the same problem, only worse, with more page reloads than Firefox.

    In both cases, when I hold mouse pressed down on the back arrow button in the browser menu, the browser shows the list of “back” targets in temporal order.

    What I see there is the same thread page reloaded 3-10 times, and the main UD news page, where I initially clicked on the thread title to enter the thread page, is at the bottom of that long list. Looking at the Javascript source, it does seem to keep reloading the page over and over. I think the advertising scripts are broken.

  6. When I disable Javascript for CloudFlare.com the problem goes away.

  7. Just realized after posting in another thread that disabling Javascript for CloudFlare.com disables post preview functionality. So it seems that the CloudFlare script at the top that checks for existence of its window needs to be fixed. What is happening is that the window formally (as part of DOM) gets created a bit later and CloudFlare keeps checking for it, not finding it yet, creating new ones until DOM catches up with its status call. Maybe moving that script at the end may work better. Probably best person to fix it would be its author at CloudFlare.

Leave a Reply