Yvonne Rodriguez, Bob Cats, Karen Hopkins discussed on 60-Second Science
This is scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Karen Hopkins Parasites live on or even inside another organism awesome and some can even change the behavior of their host to boost the odds of their transmission. Take the single celled Taco Plasma Gandhi mice infected with at this bug appear to become attracted to the smell of cat P and odor that uninfected mice. Smartly avoid the infection thus raises the chances that a mouse will wind up in the cat's mouth. Obviously bad news for the mouse but good news for the parasite which needs a kitty to complete. Its life cycle and spread to additional hosts Devious indeed but it turns out this cunning scheme may be less precisely targeted than it initially appears because a new study finds minds the Tuxedo. Plasma doesn't specifically eliminate a mouse's natural aversion to cats rather the infection makes them generally less anxious and more adventures which which makes them more curious about cats and pretty much everything else. No Work Appears in the Journal cell reports the story about the Plasma Gandhi manipulating relating the the behavior of its host is Simply fascinating biologists. Yvonne Rodriguez of the University of Geneva one of the study senior authors. It was funny. cally intriguing for us to understand how the Perez Zaide achieves specific alteration of the neural circuits quits involved in the response towards few line creditors. Something that has never been elucidated so Rodriguez and his colleague set out to determine the molecular mechanisms. That underlie this legendary feline fatal attraction for their first step. We decided to perform quite broad panel of behavioral April essays within victimizing order to get an overview of how a virus it's host we clinically observed. And that's infected mice word anxious were more explorative erected to quality control mice when confronted with a potential. Aw threads for example mice infected with TACO plasma. Were quicker to check out. The far reaches of an elevated as than their uninfected comrades they interacted directed with the human investigators hands and were unperturbed when an anesthetized rat was plunked into the middle of their cage an event that caused uninfected mice to to freeze in their tracks. The infected mice in this study did indeed show an attraction to the urine of Bob Cats but they were even more interested in the sense of foxes this and Guinea pigs of course whether or not infected mice are drawn specifically to the smell of cats parasites still gets. What it wants says Rodriguez? The the end result is to favor. Detroit mission of the infected rodents to the cats as to the mechanism. It appears that the parasite triggers a general inflammation of the brain. One interesting finding is that we observed a correlation between the level of inflammation and severity of Behavioral Alterations Medley. A GRADUATE STUDENT IN THE RODRIGUEZ LAB. She and Rodriguez will continue to explore. How Neuro Inflammation sends mice to their almost certain doom does it render these mice blind to danger or endow them with the kind of curiosity that's usually associated with their feline foes? Thanks for listening. For Scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Karen Hopkin..