Our brains obtain information from sick people, eliciting changes in our physiology and immune response. Observing images of ill people triggers activation of the immune system.
Study reveals a link between a person's culture and how they classify feeling ill. Those who are more stoic and those with an income of less than $60,000 are more likely to claim sickness. Also, men with stronger family ties were more likely to report sickness sensations.
Researchers have identified a single gene that increases the need for sleep when we are fighting sickness. NEMURI helps fight infections with its antimicrobial activity, and is secreted by neurons to drive prolonged sleep during infection.
Researchers report the personal odors of healthy animals change when they share an environment with a sick animal. The findings suggest these changes could impact social contact and patterns of disease spread.