Toxoplasma Heaven

Those of you who’ve read Peeps will no doubt remember toxoplasma gondii, the cat-borne parasite that can infect humans and change their personality. An old pal of mine, science journalist and blogger Rebecca Skloot, is a bit of an expert on toxoplasma, having written this article on whether the parasite causes “crazy cat-lady syndrome.” Fascinating stuff.

She’s just posted this charming video of a possibly toxoplasma-positive rat who LOVES its little cat friend.

For those of you who haven’t read Peeps, toxoplasma controls its rat host’s brain, making the poor creature seek out cats in hopes of getting eaten. This is because toxoplasma can only reproduce itself in the stomach of a cat. But as Rebecca points out, if the cat takes the pacifist route and simply refuses to eat the rat, it can stay uninfected.

Your move, Mr. Parasite.

In Other News

Justine is blogging writing advice for all of January. Many great posts and lots of good discussion about point-of-view, generating ideas, and how to get unstuck.

Stephenie Meyer fansite Twilight Moms has declared my Midnighters series its Book of the Month. Join the Twilight Moms discussion here. (Well, you have to be a mom, or at least 25, or married to be a Twilight Mom, but you can always read the discussion.)

163 thoughts on “Toxoplasma Heaven

  1. Lol! I was watching this while Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” was playing…the lyrics were jarring in a cool way against the video. ๐Ÿ˜€ And, by the by, that is one uber-awesome vid. (Sorry ’bout that accidental lapse into poser-sk8r-jargon. It just slips out sometimes. ^^)

  2. Yes, though I’ve only just started Peeps, I was intrigued and a little bit frightened by your spin on Toxoplasma.
    I actually HAVE Toxoplasmosis, which was indeed transferred to me in my mummy’s tummy by a stupid cat.
    Luckily for me, it just means half blindness in my left eye (if I look at you with just my left eye, there’s a big black hole where your face should be. But I can see around you like your shoulders and maybe the top of your head – and yes, how many fingers you’re holding up, unless you’re holding them in front of your face or whatever the thing I’m actually LOOKING at is.)
    It sometimes flares up in both eyes and I go temporarily blind for about a month. Yes. That’s as fun as it sounds.
    I found out a couple of years ago that I have some toxoplasma in my brain too. But I don’t know what it’s doing to me. Cue suspenseful dramatic music now, shall we? So there ya go, a real life toxoplasma story for ya.

  3. I can’t believe they’re making an Uglies movie!! Me and my best friend, Zoe, are the real world Tally and Shay. We look like them, we fight sometimes, and we met under unusual circumstances (not quite as cool as in your books, but still very odd)

    So anyway, we also act and would kill to be in the movie.
    email some info about casting if u have some time

  4. I have a good idea for a novel. You can use it if you want. You have my permission.

    13 year old Carly May moves into an old mansion in the middle of nowhere. She goes into the woods and finds all this weird old stuff. Books with ancient lettering, creepy jewelry, etc. She takes it home and hides it in her closet. Suddenly weird stuff stuff happens to her. She has creepy dreams and constantly wakes up screaming. She finds out that the stuff belonged to witches and they need it back. She runs away from home to return all the stuff. Halfway through her scary adventures, she meets a pixie named Zoe Bellseller (weird name, huh) who tells her that the witches are pure, lying, evil. They need the stuff Carly found to bring down the human race and return the world to the time of witchcraft. This results in Carly having to slay witches and all their allies (vampires, etc.) and save the whole world.

    It’s part of a weird dream I had last night. I thought it would make a good book so I’m sending it to you. Hope you use it after your done with Leviathan.

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