It’s enough to put you off your medium-rare porterhouse. People around the world have a 30–50% chance of being infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Cats are the parasite’s primary host. But when livestock take in the faeces of cats while they’re grazing, well, that’s where the steak comes in.

The parasite causes toxoplasmosis, which can cause damage to the eye and loss of vision. Justine Smith from Flinders University and João M. Furtado from Universidade de São Paulo were among a group of researchers who looked at pictures of eyes from a large sample in Western Australia. They spotted the characteristic signs of toxoplasmosis in 1 in 150 of the retinas pictured, and estimate this rate would apply across the Australian population.

They explain the best ways to prevent toxoplasmosis are cooking meat well, washing fruit and vegetables in treated water, and wearing gloves to change cat litter.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese went head-to-head last night for the third and final time, in a debate hosted by Channel Seven that was widely commended for being more civil than Nine’s shouty effort a few days ago. Seven’s pub-going panel of undecided voters gave the victory to Albanese; stay tuned for our experts’ verdict later this morning.

At The Conversation, we try to raise up reasoned voices against the clamour of misinformation that so often dominates our news cycle. And it’s our generous, civic-minded readers who help make this possible. If you’ve already given to our 2022 donations campaign, thank you. If you haven’t yet, please let today be the day you give. No gift is too small.

Lucy Beaumont

Health + Disability Editor

One in three people are infected with Toxoplasma parasite – and the clue could be in our eyes

Justine R. Smith, Flinders University; João M. Furtado, Universidade de São Paulo

We looked at eye photos and found one in every 150 Australians might have scarring from a common parasitic disease.

How well off you are depends on who you are. Comparing the lives of Australia’s Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers

Peter Abelson, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

On many dimensions, Millennials aged 25-35 are better off than were Boomers, with housing and the environment the big exceptions.

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Grattan Institute’s Danielle Wood on election’s thin policy debate

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Michelle Grattan speaks with Danielle Wood, the CEO of the Grattan Institute, an independent think tank, where policy experts research and advocate for policies to improve Australians' lives.

Electricity prices are spiking, ten times as much as normal. Here are some educated guesses as to why

Bruce Mountain, Victoria University

What’s pushing up coal and gas prices is pushing up electricity prices, but some states have better shields than others.

Climate change hits low-income earners harder – and poor housing in hotter cities is a disastrous combination

Stephen Healy, Western Sydney University; Abby Mellick Lopes, University of Technology Sydney

Western Sydney can be up to 10℃ hotter than the coast. Poorly constructed housing can’t handle the heat.

Why the budget should treat public health like transport – vital infrastructure with long-term economic benefits

Johanna Reidy, University of Otago; Don Matheson, Griffith University; Rhema Vaithianathan, Auckland University of Technology

Public health remains the Cinderella of services when it comes to health budgets. But the pandemic has shown why New Zealand urgently needs a better investment approach.

From the Moscow stage to Monroe and De Niro: how the Method defined 20th-century acting

Adrian Danks, RMIT University

Living rough to prepare for a role. Abusing fellow actors to provoke an ‘authentic’ response … It’s easy to ridicule the Method but the truth of this approach to acting is far more complex.

A tug of war between survival and fitness: how chameleons become even brighter without predators around

Martin Whiting, Macquarie University

Researchers wanted to understand what happens when chameleons – animals that display dynamic colour change – find themselves in an environment without their natural predators.

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