Navigation Links
Parasite uses the power of sexual attraction to trick rats into becoming cat food
Date:8/19/2011

he details of how the little single-celled protozoan Toxoplasma, about a hundredth of a millimeter long, exerts control over the far more sophisticated rat have been a mystery.

Sapolsky's group previously determined that although the parasite infects the entire brain, it shows a preference for a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is associated with various emotional states. Once in the brain, the parasite forms cysts around itself, in which it essentially lies dormant.

House was interested in how the amygdala is affected by the parasite, so he ran a series of experiments with both healthy and Toxoplasma-infected rats. He exposed each male rat to either cat urine or a female rat in heat for 20 minutes before analyzing its brains for evidence of excitation in the amygdala.

For the experiments, he used cat urine he purchased in bulk from a wholesaler. No actual cats participated in the experiments.

House analyzed certain subregions of the amygdala that focus on innate fear and innate attraction.

In healthy male rats, cat urine activated the "fear" pathway.

But in the infected rats, although there was still activity in the fear pathway, the urine prompted quite a bit of activity in the "attraction" pathway as well. "Exactly what you would see in a normal rat exposed to a female," House said.

"Toxoplasma is altering these circuits in the amygdala, muddling fear and attraction," he said.

The findings confirmed observations House made during the experiments, when he noticed that the infected rats did not run when they smelled cat urine, but actually seemed drawn to it and spent more time investigating it than they would just by chance.

Although House doesn't have the data yet to speculate on just how the cysts in the rats' brains are causing the behavioral changes, he is impressed with what Toxoplasma can accomplish.

"There are not many organisms that can get into the brai
'/>"/>

Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Parasite loads an underlying cause of salmon mortality, linked to land use changes
2. What parasites eat is the key to better drug design
3. Parasites help reveal new ecological rules
4. Malaria parasites use camouflage to trick immune defences of pregnant women
5. Comparison of genomes of plant parasites provides solid clues for response
6. Parasite strategy offers insight to help tackle sleeping sickness
7. Insight into parasite family planning could help target malaria
8. Trichinosis parasite gets DNA decoded
9. MIT researchers study the danger of toxoplasma parasites
10. Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection
11. UC Riverside cell biologist to investigate how malaria parasite multiplies in red blood cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Parasite uses the power of sexual attraction to trick rats into becoming cat food
(Date:7/10/2014)... 10, 2014) Consuming a whole fresh avocado with ... enhanced provitamin A carotenoid (alpha- and beta-carotene) absorption and ... vitamin A, according to new research (1) published ... , Vitamin A is involved in reproductive health ... and vision; and has antioxidant properties. Provitamin A carotenoids, ...
(Date:7/9/2014)... diseases can occur simultaneously in distinct sites in ... effective for one disorder may exacerbate the other. ... which alleviates joint disease but can worsen periodontal ... of The American Journal of Pathology ... anti-arthritic drugs, specifically DTrp8-ɣMSH (DTrp), that acts via ...
(Date:7/9/2014)... one gene for another in a line of living ... reality within this decade. As with any new technology, ... disease-causing genes in humans, for example--as well as questions ... of those concerns to rest: using gene-editing techniques on ... in the cells. The new results were published July ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New research: Fresh avocado enhances absorption of essential nutrients for healthy living 2New class of anti-arthritis drugs effectively treats multiple inflammatory diseases 2No extra mutations in modified stem cells, study finds 2No extra mutations in modified stem cells, study finds 3
... Rebekah E. Gee MD MPH FACOG, Assistant Professor, LSU ... and Medicine, has been chosen to receive a Recognition ... Leadership Award from the Association of Maternal & Child ... vision, and contributions to the health of women, children, ...
... The University of Michigan,s first human embryonic stem cell line ... registry, making the cells available for federally-funded research. It is ... University of Michigan to be placed on the registry. ... derived in October 2010 from a cluster of about 30 ...
... cues from their rivals the honeybees to learn where the ... Mary, University of London. Writing in the journal ... Biological and Chemical Sciences explain how they trained a colony ... by a different species, the honeybee ( Apis mellifera ), ...
Cached Biology News:LSUHSC's Gee honored for improving health of women, children and families 2U-M human embryonic stem cell line placed on national registry 2U-M human embryonic stem cell line placed on national registry 3Bumblebees get by with a little help from their honeybee rivals 2
(Date:1/14/2014)... (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 EquitiesIQ, a ... Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua is an emerging biomedical company ... the wound care market. , Free report download: ... with a seasoned management team and Board, which launched ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 iLab ... Michelle Detwiler as the new Director of Product Strategy. In ... as well as iLab sub-teams to guide in the development ... that iLab provides the maximum possible benefit to the scientific ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014 Global Record Systems, ... information technology solutions for patients, physicians, the biopharmaceutical ... announced today the signing of a three-year Research ... Drug Administration (FDA). This initiative is designed ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 Kerr Corporation, a ... video and additional how-to information about dual arch impressions on ... with Dual Arch Impressions,” the blog entry serves up a ... and houses a step-by-step demonstration by Dr. David Little as ...
Breaking Biology Technology:EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3iLab Solutions Announces Michelle Detwiler as the New Director of Product Strategy 2Global Record Systems Announces Research Collaboration Agreement with FDA to Create a Novel “Big Data” Paradigm for Collection of Patient Safety and Outcomes Information 2
... ... Earned Value Management can improve control over clinical development costs, payments, and accruals and ... , ... June 11, 2009 -- ClearTrial ( www.cleartrial.com ), a leading provider of clinical trial ...
... STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA ), a ... products, today announced that the FDA has granted 510(k) ... the Affinity(TM) Collamer(R) Three-Piece NTIOL and the Elastimide(TM) Silicone ... a new era of insertion devices for the company ...
... June 11 New data from Phase 3 ... (NYSE: WYE ) investigational pneumococcal vaccine, Prevenar 13* ... provide coverage against the 13 most prevalent serotypes associated with ... children younger than five worldwide. , , ...
Cached Biology Technology:ClearTrial Industry Expert to Lead Session at DIA Annual Meeting on Improving Accrual and Contract Management in Clinical Trials 2STAAR Surgical Receives FDA Clearance for the Epiphany(TM) Injector System 2STAAR Surgical Receives FDA Clearance for the Epiphany(TM) Injector System 3New Phase 3 Data Continue to Indicate that Wyeth's Investigational 13-valent Vaccine Has the Potential to Broaden Coverage Against Pneumococcal Disease 2New Phase 3 Data Continue to Indicate that Wyeth's Investigational 13-valent Vaccine Has the Potential to Broaden Coverage Against Pneumococcal Disease 3New Phase 3 Data Continue to Indicate that Wyeth's Investigational 13-valent Vaccine Has the Potential to Broaden Coverage Against Pneumococcal Disease 4New Phase 3 Data Continue to Indicate that Wyeth's Investigational 13-valent Vaccine Has the Potential to Broaden Coverage Against Pneumococcal Disease 5New Phase 3 Data Continue to Indicate that Wyeth's Investigational 13-valent Vaccine Has the Potential to Broaden Coverage Against Pneumococcal Disease 6
...
...
... Ribonuclease III (RNase III) from E. ... double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to dsRNA fragments that ... dsRNA results in dsRNA fragments of 12-15 ... RNA composed of canonical ribonucleotides as well ...
Mouse monoclonal [6911] to E. coli K99 pilus ( Abpromise for all tested applications)....
Biology Products: