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Low social status leads to off-kilter immune system

By wochit 28 November 2016

According to a new study, those with lower social status have an immune system working in high gear. However, the researchers did not test their experiment on humans, instead they chose a highly social animal, the rhesus monkey. Scientists worked with 45 monkeys that were arranged into five groups with one monkey being added at a time. Since the oldest member dominated the group, the newest member was left at the lowest social rung. The groups were kept together for a year while the researchers took blood samples, before those with similar social statuses were grouped together. Their results found different proportions of immune cells circulating in the blood of low ranking monkeys.