TECH

A Hidden Virus In Lakes Is Affecting Our Brains

31/10/2014 11:27 GMT | Updated 31/10/2014 11:59 GMT

Scientists at Johns Hopkins and the University of Nebraska have discovered an algae virus which is potentially affecting the mental abilities of humans.

The virus itself, chlorovirus, is usually found in lakes on algae and was until now, believed to be unable to transfer to humans.

What the scientists found was in fact the complete opposite, actually 40 per cent of those tested had the virus living in their mouth and throats.

lake

This is where things get really bizarre though, the scientists were originally testing the subjects in a variety of ways, from mental through to physical.

They then took swabs of the those tested. What they found shocked them. All those infected with the virus were processing visual information around 10 per cent slower than those who weren't infected.

Of course the scientists immediately tried to look for outside factors that could contribute to this correlation but eventually concluded that the only thing they had in common was that they were all infected.

To see how far they could take this the researches started injecting mice with the same virus and found that weeks later, the mice were showing a similar 10 per cent drop.

Now at this point it's important to note that the scientists original study was of just 33 people so to have even the slightest definitive answer there will need to be a lot more testing.