Stunning Map Shows Pathogens Hopping Between Species
You and your adorable cat share not only hugs and kisses but also a few pathogens, according to a recent paper in Scientific Data. In this visualization, UK researchers mapped the overlapping relationships between infectious agents—parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi—and the hosts they mercilessly attack.
The bigger the dot, the more unique pathogens that attack only that species. So yeah, humans win that game. (Though it’s also likely that more pathogens have been identified for humans than for other species.) The lines connecting the dots shows that those species share at least one pathogen, and the thicker the line, the more they share.
In this case, the domestics—dogs, cats, cattle—seem to be the most generous with each other. And this map is yet more evidence that amphibians are complete aliens.