Scientists Discover Strange Virus That Leads To Human Stupidity
We’ve often wondered what exactly is responsible for unspeakable human stupidity.
US scientists might have the answer, having discovered a virus that infects human brains and makes us more stupid.
The algae virus has never before been observed in healthy people and was discovered to affect cognitive functions such as visual processing and spatial awareness.
The surprise discovery was made by a team at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska when undertaking a separate study into throat microbes.
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The team discovered that DNA present in the throats of healthy individuals was the same as that of a virus.
While 90 participants took part in the study, 40 tested positive for the algae. It was then proved that those who had tested positive performed worse on tests that were designed to measure visual processing and attention spans.
Although human bodies contain a multitude of bacteria and fungi, the study has shown that specific microbes can have a negative effect on cognitive processing.
The study was led by Dr Robert Yolken, a virologist, who said: ‘This is a striking example showing that the “innocuous” microorganisms we carry can affect behaviour and cognition.’
He added: ‘Many physiological differences between person A and person B are encoded in the set of genes each inherits from parents, yet some of these differences are fuelled by the various microorganisms we harbour and the way they interact with our genes.’