Zombie Ants and Fearless Mice: Parasites and the Brain

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Parasites can dramatically change the behaviour of their hosts. A parasitic worm turns a tropical ant berry-red and causes it to climb high, attractive prey for birds, the worm’s next host. A mouse infected by toxoplasma gondii no longer fears cats – making it easier for the parasite to be eaten by its next host, a cat. A jewel wasp precisely injects neurotoxins into its cockroach prey’s brain. These parasite manipulations can tell us how brains, including our own, work normally.

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This event was on Tue, 26 Feb 2019


Dr Tristram Wyatt

Tristram Wyatt is a scientist and award-winning author. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, an emeritus fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, and a visiting lecturer at University College London.

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