Adiós a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalán Analyst

Después de 13 años de escribir en este blog prácticamente sin interrupción, hoy lo doy por clausurado. Esto no quiere decir que me haya jubilado de la red, sino que he pasado el relevo a otro blog que sigue la misma línea de Nihil Obstat. Se trata del blog The Catalán Analyst y de la cuenta de Twitter del mismo nombre: @CatalanAnalyst . Os los recomiendo.

Muchas gracias a todos por haberme seguido con tanta fidelidad durante todos estos años.

jueves, 23 de febrero de 2012

Un parásito llamado Toxo

La esquizofrenia, el suicidio y las conductas de riesgo están probablemente relacionadas con la anidación en los humanos del parásito llamado Toxo

The Atlantic Magazine:
The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis—the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease’s end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells—or at least that’s the standard medical wisdom.

But if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that’s not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”
Via Arcadi Espada