I Can Has Cheezburger? Newsletter

Owning a Cat? You Wouldn't Believe How It Can Boost Your Career

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    According to new research from the University of Colorado Boulder, infection from the Toxoplasma gondii parasite found in cat feces could make humans more likely to pursue entrepreneurial and business-related activities.

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    In studying nearly 1,500 undergrads, researchers said in a news release that they found "T. gondii-positive individuals were 1.4 times more likely to major in business and 1.7 times more likely to pursue a management and entrepreneurship emphasis."

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    An additional survey of 197 adult professionals attending entrepreneurship events found that infected individuals were 1.8 times more likely to have started their own business compared with other attendees. T. gondii infects an estimated 2 billion people worldwide.

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    The fear of striking out and trying something risky is related to the affect the parasite has on rodents, which when infected with the parasite, makes them less fearful of cats.

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    This behavior makes mice and whatever else more likely to get eaten by a cat, and thus benefits the parasite and its life cycle. 

    The study was published in the journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B" and was led by Stefanie K. Johnson, an associate professor in CU Boulder's Leeds School of Business, and Pieter Johnson, a professor in the school's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.


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