Toxoplasma: Bet On Boys

Toxoplasma, that mind-altering, cell-manipulating, all-around awesome parasite that sits in the brains of billions of us, is back in the news. Infection with the parasite raises the chances a woman will have a boy from 51% to 72%. The average ratio of boys to girls at birth is 51%. Women with high levels of antibodies to Toxoplasma, scientists found, have a 72% chance of having a boy. While many effects of Toxoplasma probably have something to do with adaptations that allow the parasite to thrive and spread successfully, this one seems more like a side-effect, albeit a dramatic one.

Source: Guardian Unlimited | Science | Pregnant women infected by cat parasite more likely to give birth to boys, say researchers

Paper abstract here.

[Thanks to BC for the fact-check.

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