Scientists have stumbled upon a virus that can allegedly make us go bonkers. The virus which is known to infect algae was initially thought not to reach the human system. Technically, it might affect cognitive functions like visual processing and spatial awareness.
The virus in question is said to live in green algae found in rivers and lakes and it can also supposedly survive in the throats of humans. It was previously thought that it cannot be transferred to us. But, the creature can not only attach to our DNA but also impact on our abilities.
92 healthy people were surveyed, and 44 % of them had the virus in their systems. All the participants had some of their cognitive abilities like attention span evaluated. It was found that those not having the virus had better marks by a mean difference between 7 and 9.
To further test the effects of the virus, it was injected into mice who were then placed into a maze. Those mice carrying the algae virus seemed to be more confused that their uninfected counterparts. One of the authors, Dr Robert Yolken, stated that this represents an example as to how such microorganisms might influence our behaviour and cognitive power.
How is the virus transmitted to us? So far, this remains unknown; it was only recently revealed to survive in humans anyway. The authors also reassured that no evidence exists to believe that the virus is contagious. Furthermore, it is thought that the virus might be infecting other microorganisms besides algae that have found their way into the throats of humans.