Parasitic Worms Create 'Zombie' Snails

Parasitic flatworms (Leucochloridium paradoxum) attack innocent gastropods, and force the snails to feed themselves to birds - over and over. While you ponder the Prometheus-like fate of these snails, let's first talk about Toxoplasma Gondii, which infects human beings.

In a previous article (Toxoplasma Gondii Parasite Mind Control) I detailed the peculiar facts about Toxoplasma, which is found in the gut of cats. The parasite sheds eggs, which are then picked up and eaten by rats. The rats remain perfectly healthy. Or do they?

It turns out that the rat brains are subtly altered. Instead of fearing places where cats hang around, the poor rats actually come to prefer places where cats spend a lot of time. These rats are more likely to be eaten by the cats, thereby completing the lifecycle of the Toxoplasma parasite.

Human beings are also infected by the parasite; about half of the people on Earth have had an infection. Researcher Fuller Torrey noticed a number of links between Toxoplasma infection and human neurology and behavior. Read the article for details.

What Toxoplasma gondii apparently does to people is disgusting. However, it's nothing compared to the fate of poor snails. I commend the following video to your attention.


(Leucochloridium paradoxum vs. snails)

I thought that Toxoplasma forming tiny cysts in my brain and spreading throughout my nervous system was bad. As this video proves, it can always get worse.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/8/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue
'... biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.