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Immunity in the Mind

Do our own prejudices and perceptions of people help defend our bodies against infectious disease? A recent article published in the April issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that our brains contain a sort of "behavioral immune system" that defends against disease even before disease-causing pathogens reach our bodies. Mark Schaller, of the University of British Columbia, who co-authored the article with Justin H. Park from the University of Bristol, suggests that a host of psychological factors combine to detect and avoid potential infectious things in our immediate environment.  This provides a “crude” first line of defense against infection, and reduces the workload of the "real" immune system.... More>


Quicksilver message: How to send a public health warning

When I was a smoker, I paid no attention to the constant health warnings about tobacco. It’s not that I was unaware that cigarettes posed serious risks. They were spelled […]... More>