October 2011 Issue

Rats! Good News for a Hardy Parasite

A common single-celled organism called Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that infects many animals, including rats — in which it causes a peculiar and unexpected transformation. We all know that the average rat will avoid cats at all costs, and they become particularly nervous when exposed to cat urine. That is, unless they’re infected with Toxoplasma.

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