With increasing population, Live Science wonders what would happen if humans adopted cannibalism. Spoiler: It ain’t gonna work.

Beyond the squeamishness at eating human flesh and the potential sense of guilt over murder, a more serious problem looms for cannibals: prion diseases. Prions are misfolded proteins that induce other proteins to take on the wrong shape, causing neurological dysfunction. A familiar example is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is derived from the bovine prion that triggers mad cow disease.

Last century, human cannibals in Papua New Guinea – and particularly women and children who ate dead relatives’ prion-loaded brains – came down with a prion disease called kuru. Eliminating cannibalism squashed the lethal ailment.

 This factor I was unaware of.


If the links I’m sent are any indicators, I’m a connoisseur of vegetarianism and cannibalism.

Link via Purnima.