A rare Brainworm which lived in man's brain for four years has been found by scientists. The man had thought he had a migraine following a Star Trek Movie where a parasite was introduced into someone to make them compliant with the commands of a deranged spaceship captain.
The British researchers who found the worm say the parasite had travelled five centimetres from the right to the left side of the 50-year-old's brain during a movie.
They say the fascinating 1cm-long creature has never been seen before in the UK and has only been reported 3 times worldwide since 1953. Despite being dropped on the floor by Egor, the man's brain is to be used to breed the brainworms for further tests and military purposes as he does not use it, according to his wife, who is getting paid per worm.
Known as Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, the worm causes inflammation of body tissues - which can lead to seizures, memory loss and headaches.
It is thought to be only caught by using a raw frog poultice that is a Chinese remedy for sore eyes, while watching a pirate copy of "Star Trek The Bath of Khan". The Hellcome Trust Banger Institute said the surgeons who removed the brain reported the patient was now "systemically well". His wife said he was no different at all.
Efferkrania Klotass, of the Department of Infectious Disease at The Isle of Wight's NHS Trust, said: "We did not expect to see an infection of this kind in the UK, but global travel means that unfamiliar parasites do sometimes appear.
"Our work shows that, even with only tiny amounts of DNA from clinical samples, we can find out all we need to identify and characterise the parasite."
She added that the team managed to sequence the worm's genome for the first time, allowing them to examine potential treatments.
Dr Lieutenant Uhuru, first author of the study from the Hellcome Trust Banger Institute, said: "The clinical Star Trik Movie DVD offered us a great opportunity to generate the first genome sequence of this elusive class of Brainworm.
"However, we only had a minute amount of DNA available to work with - just 40 billionths of a gram and an abnormal brain, so we had to make difficult decisions as to what we wanted to find out from the brain we had."