Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical School have identified a mysterious virus that literally makes people stupid, and it has so far been found in about 45% of the people tested.
The discovery of the “stupid” virus, normally found in algae, was revealed at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, entitled “Chlorovirus ATCV-1 is part of the human oropharyngeal virome and is associated with changes in cognitive functions in humans and mice” is found at this link on the PNAS.org website.
The rather shocking take away from the study is that the virus alters the gene expression of brain cells, literally making people perform more poorly on cognitive tests, visual processing and spatial awareness.
So far, 90 people have been tested for the presence of the virus, and 40 tested positive, according to The Independent.  “Those who tested positive performed worse on tests designed to measure the speed and accuracy of visual processing. They also achieved lower scores in tasks designed to measure attention,” reports the paper.
According to the study abstract, the virus alters gene expression relating to “…synaptic plasticity, learning, memory formation, and the immune response to viral exposure.”
This virus, in other words, can truly suppress your brain function, memories and immune response. And it is apparently quite common in humans.
Stupid virus commentary
Fascinatingly, this discovery makes tremendous sense. Have you ever looked at the world around you and wondered why so many people seem intellectually challenged? Now we know that a virus really can alter the function and expression of your brain cells.
At last, there is a scientific explanation that backs up our observations of other people. Half the population may indeed be infected with the “stupid” virus, altering their cognition, memories and awareness. And if this virus alone isn’t enough to get the job done, there’s always fluoride in the water, brain-damaging mercury in the flu shots, and reality TV shows that are so dumbed down they actually suck your brain cells into the plasma screen vortex.
This virus, in fact, may be crucial to powering the U.S. economy because people infected with it create economic activity by spending money on lottery tickets, cell phone insurance and synthetic children’s vitamins laced with aspartame. Without the aid of this virus, much of the economy would grind to a halt and sales of popular sports drinks would collapse to almost nothing.
The next time someone accuses you of doing something stupid, just reply with, “Hey, I got infected with the stupid virus. But what’s YOUR excuse?”