A Groundbreaking Study Is Good News for Cats—And People
Researchers studying the cat-poop parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, made a breakthrough that will spare a lot of felines from research.
The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, only sexually reproduces in cats. Scientists have finally worked out why, and got Toxo to do it in mice. That’s a huge deal, which will accelerate Toxo research—and spare a lot of cats.
IN MICE. (This is one of those rare studies where doing it in mice is the entire point.)
No one wants to use cats in their research.” For decades, scientists didn’t have a choice. But a groundbreaking new study on Toxoplasma gondii, the cat-poop parasite, could spare a lot of felines,
“Whenever I give talks, I often get the question: Why the cats? What’s special about the cats?” Knoll says. “Now we have an answer.”
“Toxo only has sex in cats because it depends on linoleic acid, and cats are the only mammals that build up enough of the stuff.”