The propensity for a business depends on the parasites

The propensity for a business depends on the parasites

A protozoan parasite found in cats could be having a rather odd effect on the brains of humans it infects, which under the right circumstances just might turn them into the next Elon Musk. This indeed works well for the T. gondii parasite which reproduces inside the cat once.

Researchers have discovered that people who have been infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which is commonly found in cat feces, are more likely to have started their own companies or majored in business, reports NBC News.

The results indicated that the students who tested positive for T. gondii were 1.4 times more likely to be a business major than those who weren't infected.

At 8.7 per cent, the toxoplasmosis infection rate in the United Kingdom puts it among the lowest countries - in keeping with a relatively low entrepreneurship rate of 5.5 per cent, she said. About 22 percent of the people they tested had once been infected.

According to Business Insider, a team of researchers from the Royal Society have published a study, titled, Risky business: linking Toxoplasma gondii infection and entrepreneurship behaviours across individuals and countries.

Learning that may forever change your relationship with your cat.

Stefanie Johnson of the University of Colorado says the parasite reportedly makes rodents unafraid of cats and may be reducing the fear of failure in people. The parasite may lead to increased risk-taking behavior, but there's no guarantee those businesses will be successful. The researchers wrote that it might be affecting neurotransmitters in the brain or hormones like testosterone.

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Their findings, they said, indicate that microbes might play a role in human behavior and culture.

The team also looked at national statistics from 42 countries over the past 25 years and found that the rates of T. gondii infection, which range from 9 percent in Norway to 60 percent in Brazil, proved to be a consistent, positive predictor of entrepreneurial activity, even after they had taken into account other potentially influencing factors. Only time, and more research, will tell. The parasite is likely unnoticeable as the immune system of a human tends to ward off its symptoms.

"There's this insane finding that if you get infected with this parasite, you could get neurotic and nobody wants to get more neurotic", she told NBC News.

"New ventures have high failure rates, so a fear of failure is quite rational".

"Being a professor is literally the most risk-averse job you can do", she said. "T.gondii might just reduce that rational fear".

They also turned to students and business professionals for a simple spit-test to track their body's history of Toxoplasma gondii.

"So what if all the businesses started by toxoplasma-positive people fail?" "Our next research is conservatism, whether toxoplasmosis affects conservatism", she said.

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