Researchers find virus that affects intelligence
Admit it — we all know that one person whose intelligence, or lack of it, is questionable. Well American researchers may have found what people are calling a “stupidity virus.”
Scientists from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska found traces of ATCV-1, an algal virus, in throat swabs taken from healthy participants during an unrelated study.
The virus attacks DNA potentially causing those infected to be less intelligent by affecting their learning, memory and diminishing brain activity. The 44 percent of participants who were infected were found to perform worse on cognitive tests than those who were not infected.
The tests measured how fast and accurately the participants processed visual information.
ATCV-1 usually infects a particular species of algae found in lakes and rivers, and had not been known to infect humans until now.