from the world's big
Why Low Social Status Causes Health Problems
University of Chicago researchers have found that one's place in a social hierarchy influences the body's response to illness and stress. Thus the best medicine may be a job promotion.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists have determined that your social rank substantially affects your health, with those on the lower end being most prone to health problems. Using a population of macaque monkeys, researchers at the University of Chicago observed that social position caused different sets of genes to fire. In other words, gene expression in high-status monkeys was different than in the low-status group. "The relationship was robust enough to work the other way round, too. Given a blood sample and no other information, it was possible to predict an individual’s status within her group with an accuracy of 80%."
What's the Big Idea?
Scientists found that the genes which varied between high and low-status monkeys regulated a class of hormones called glucocorticoids, "which regulate immune-system activity and response to stress." Perhaps most significantly, researchers observed the presence of certain chemical structures which are passed down through new generations of cells, implying that social status may be maintained in an individual's biochemistry. While that smells like destiny, scientists also found that outside forces, such as a promotion in the social hierarchy, were enough to change those chemical compositions.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Generation Ships<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a1e6445c7168d293a6da3f9600f534a2"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H2f0Wd3zNj0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.