Do you believe that secret forces control the world around us? That there are vast, possibly biological conspiracies which have shaped life as we know it and even now drive us to serve their occult desires?
YOU ARE RIGHT.
This research scientist is studying how a fungus turns ants into mind-controlled zombies which are compelled to climb the nearest plant, bite into it with their mandibles, and hold still until the fungus has completely devoured their soft tissues and erupts from the dead ant’s head in ghastly, curving horns. Evidence of this has been found in fossils tens of millions of years old and it’s still happening today all over the planet.
(“But that could never happen to humans!” you bleat pathetically, to which I suggest you read up on Toxoplasma Gondii.)
WHAT CAN WE DO IN THE FACE OF THIS VAST AND SHADOWY MENACE
Help science! She is raising funds Kickstarter-style on a science-crowdfunding website called Microryza. In the past I’ve donated to Microryza projects to excavate a triceratops and study a disease that is killing bats. I think this project is the most fascinating yet: she is going to determine which genes in the fungus are active during the mind-control portion of the infestation. Once we know that, I expect Delta Green will fund a retrovirus that will rewrite the genetic code of the fungus and save us all from certain doom.
Please give a few bucks to her project. It’s real science and it’s really fascinating. And please share her project with your friends in the hopes we can stave off the darkness a little while longer.
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?