No.9761005 ViewReplyOriginalReport
>A parasitic worm that makes the grasshopper it invades jump into water and commit suicide does so by chemically influencing its brain, a study of the insects’ proteins reveal.

>“One of the reasons they are interesting is that parasites are often able to get in there and selectively manipulate behaviour," she told New Scientist. She says the eventual hope is that understanding how parasites manipulate their hosts’ behaviour – by affecting the nervous and endocrine systems – might further the understanding of how human behaviour-systems link.

>The parasitic Nematomorph hairworm (Spinochordodes tellinii) develops inside land-dwelling grasshoppers and crickets until the time comes for the worm to transform into an aquatic adult. Somehow mature hairworms brainwash their hosts into behaving in way they never usually would – causing them to seek out and plunge into water.

>Once in the water the mature hairworms – which are three to four times longer that their hosts when extended – emerge and swim away to find a mate, leaving their host dead or dying in the water.

>But the “mechanisms underlying this intriguing parasitic strategy remain poorly understood, generally”, he says.

>Now Biron and his colleagues have shown that the worm brainwashes the grasshopper by producing proteins which directly and indirectly affect the grasshopper’s central nervous system.

tl;dr This shit is more real than you think.