I don’t know if cockroaches dream, but I imagine if they do, jewel wasps feature prominently in their nightmares. These small, solitary tropical wasps are of little concern to us humans; after all, they don’t manipulate our minds so that they can serve us up as willing, living meals to their newborns, as they do to unsuspecting cockroaches. The story is simple, if grotesque: the female wasp controls the minds of the cockroaches she feeds to her offspring, taking away their sense of fear or will to escape their fate. What turns a once healthy cockroach into a mindless zombie it’s venom. Not just any venom, either: a specific venom that acts like a drug, targeting the cockroach's brain.
(Adaptado de Christie Wilcox, Zombie Neuroscience. Scientific American, New York, v. 315, n. 2, p. 70–73, 2016.)
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