Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Zombies Found in Brazil

Zombie ants that is...
Four new Brazilian species in the genus Ophiocordyceps have been published in the online journal PLoS ONE. The fungi, named by Dr. Harry Evans and Dr. David Hughes, belong to a group of "zombifying" fungi that infect ants and then manipulate their behavior, eventually killing the ants after securing a prime location for spore dispersal.
So if you can have fungi making zombies out of ants, why not humans?  Well, fungi have had a lot more time to work on ants, for one thing. However, toxoplasmosis has been observed to cause behavior changes in rats and mice that make them less fearful of cats, and hence likely to infect the cats.  It has been speculated that it may cause similar behavior changes in men...

Brom - 'Zombie'

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