The Walking Dead Doomsday and its flesh-eating monsters might be all fictional but Zombie Apocalypse could really happen in the future. JEB Editor Michael Dickinson introduced certain group of parasites that can infest brain and control the behavior of its host.
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In an article by JEB reporter Kathryn Knight, she tackled Dickinson's findings about a specific type of parasites with the ability to control behavior of an individual by infesting his or her nervous system and influence behavior.
"Parasites come in all shapes and forms. From skinny tapeworms that infest intestines to the microscopic infectious agent of malaria (Plasmodium), parasites are usually inconvenient and sometimes lethal. But there is one group of parasites that is particularly pernicious - they are the parasites that hijack their host's nervous system, turning their victims into zombies," said Knight in the opening paragraph of her article.
Dickinson added that these tiny parasites can control behavior of large animals and human in an efficient way, making them bold creature and using them as hosts to retrieve food for the parasites and its larvae.
"The fact that parasites can so efficiently alter host behaviour is fascinating," Michael Dickinson, from the University of Washington, said in a statement.
Majority of these parasites infect smaller organisms such as insects and other animals, but humans can also be susceptible to acquiring zombie behavior. The Toxoplasma Gondii can infest the brains of rodents, cats and other mammals. However, recent studies found out that humans can also serve as hosts for the parasites.
The parasites have already been linked with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. The worst about the condition is it has no known cure for it so far and researchers are just starting to determine what other effects these parasites can do to the brains of its hosts.
"There is something horrifying and wondrous about a tiny 'implant' being able to control such a large animal machine'. What is more, it appears that these minute manipulators can have a significant, and often under-appreciated, impact on ecology, physiology and evolution, orchestrating the behaviour of vertebrates and invertebrates alike," Dickinson said.
With this finding, there's no doubt that these parasites can really affect the mentality of its host. The question now is how beastly someone can turn into if these organisms continue to evolve.
'Neuroparasitology is a science where science meets science fiction', Dickinson observed.
For more Doomsday, Walking Dead and Zombie Apocalypse News: read more at IBT
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