Can parasites manipulate the behavior of host organisms?
Consider this …
The fluke Euhaplorchis californiensis causes fish to shimmy and jump so wading birds will grab them and eat them.
Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, sabotage the grasshopper’s central nervous system, forcing them to jump into pools of water, drowning themselves. Hairworms then swim away from their hapless hosts to continue their life cycle.
Science fiction might foretell aliens doing so to humans, but is there such a drive already in our ecosystem?
Half of the world’s human population is infected with Toxoplasma, a parasite in the body and the brain, which subtly alters human behavior — resulting in increased risk-taking behaviors and Schizophrenia.
Speaking of mind control and schizophrenia …
McGirl: Welcome to McDonalds, may I take your order?
Man: No thanks, I’m not hungry.