Micro-Organism Infections Could Make People Stupid

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scientists have uncovered a strain of algae virus living in humans, one that seems to lower the cognitive performance of those infected. It may actually be possible to catch being stupid.

The virus is more usually found living in green algae. Scientists researching other throat issues found it living in people too, with the bizarre result that those infected performed worse in a series of tests checking their visual processing and spatial awareness functions.

Live that toxoplasma micro-organism that makes cat-women mad, this one appears to make its host humans stupider, with virologist Dr Robert Yolken saying: "This is a striking example showing that the 'innocuous' micro-organisms we carry can affect behaviour and cognition." [Independent]

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