Parasite In Cat Poop May Make Humans More Business Savvy, Study Says

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A group of experts said that there is a connection between exposure to T. gondii and entrepreneurial behavior.

The number of the persons infected is close to 2 billion around the globe. Alterations in people's behavior could be correlated with an increased risk of predation by cats, such as lions, tigers or other feline predators.

Learning that may forever change your relationship with your cat.

Dr Stefanie Johnson, from the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business in the United States, and her fellow authors wrote: "Populations with higher T. gondii infection had greater intentions to start a business and higher levels of active entrepreneurship behaviours".

"As humans, we like to think that we are in control of our actions", said Pieter Johnson, the co-lead author of the study and a professor in CU Boulder's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO).

A brain-dwelling parasite spread to humans by cats may be driving the success of entrepreneurs worldwide, according to a new study.

Humans can be infected with Toxoplasma gondii parasite if they come into contact with cat faeces or contaminated products
Litter tray parasite toxoplasmosis could turn you into business fat cat

Though the researchers haven't proven this theory, they suggest the parasite could be affecting hormones in the brain such as testosterone, which makes the infected increase their risk-taking behavior. They suggest that behaviour-altering infections like toxoplasmosis could influence human decision-making.

The researchers also compiled national statistics from 42 countries over the past 25 years and found that T. gondii infection prevalences (ranging from 9 percent in Norway to 60 percent in Brazil) proved to be a consistent, positive predictor of entrepreneurial activity, even when controlling for relative national wealth and opportunity factors.

After collecting saliva samples from the participants to test for the parasite, the researchers found that T. gondii-positive individuals were 1.4 times more likely to major in business and 1.7 times more likely to have an emphasis in "management and entrepreneurship" over other business-related emphases. Fortunately, most people exhibit very few, if any, symptoms-those few who do, tend to report headache or flu-like symptoms.

"Our next research is conservatism, whether toxoplasmosis affects conservatism", she told NBC News. They also noted that in countries that had a higher prevalence of the parasite had more people who had lower "fear of failure". The infected students were also nearly twice as likely to be focusing on "management and entrepreneurship" than other business-related areas, adds BT News.

The authors of the new test for the presence of T. gondii in the body of 1495 students. This is the first time that an infection is associated with reduction of this rational fear. And people who died "in a risky way" were more likely to have had the toxoplasma infection, she said. "There's got to be many, many more", she said.

"So what if all the businesses started by toxoplasma-positive people fail?"

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