Do you have days when you just can’t get anything right? Are there times when you stare at yourself in the mirror somewhere around midnight and say: “Why the hell did I do that?”

It may be that you’re not innately stupid, silly, dumb, brain-dead or even gormless. Indeed, it may well be that you’ve got an algae virus that’s messing with your cognitive systems.

A large group of scientists from both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Nebraska examined microorganisms that populate our “mucosal surfaces.”


A surprise discovery was that the ATCV-1 virus, which comes from algae, seemed to affect human cognition. Previously, it had been thought that humans weren’t prone to being infected by this virus. However, in taking throat swabs from 92 people, the researchers found 40 of them had the virus.

The research report says: “The presence of ATCV-1 DNA was not associated with demographic variables but was associated with a modest but statistically significant decrease in the performance on cognitive assessments of visual processing and visual motor speed.” The decrease was around 10 percent.

The scientists tested this result by injecting mice with the same virus. They say the results were similar.

Read the full article @ CNET.