About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

'Selfish' Genes Tell Us to Stay Home When We are Feeling Sick

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on January 8, 2016 at 6:58 PM
Font : A-A+

 'Selfish' Genes Tell Us to Stay Home When We are Feeling Sick

There are some 'selfish' genes which tell you to stay in bed whenever you feel sick, only to save others from infections, suggested a new study.

Along with the symptoms, the sick individual can become depressed and lose interest in social and sexual contact, limiting opportunities to transmit pathogens, the team noted. According to the researchers, feeling sick is an evolutionary adaptation and evolution is functioning on the level of the 'selfish gene'.

Advertisement


Even though the individual organism may not survive the illness, isolating itself from its social environment will reduce the overall rate of infection in the group.

"From the point of view of the individual, this behavior may seem overly altruistic. But from the perspective of the gene, its odds of being passed down are improved," said lead researcher Keren Shakhar from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Advertisement

The scientists went through a list of common symptoms, and each seems to support their hypothesis.

Appetite loss, for example, hinders the disease from spreading by communal food or water resources.

Fatigue and weakness can lessen the mobility of the infected individual, reducing the radius of possible infection.

"We know that isolation is the most efficient way to stop a transmissible disease from spreading. The problem is that today, for example, with flu, many do not realize how deadly it can be. So they go against their natural instincts, take a pill to reduce pain and fever and go to work, where the chance of infecting others is much higher," added Guy Shakhar from Weizmann Institute's Immunology Department in Israel.

The study was published in PLoS Biology.

Source: IANS
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Alarming Cesarean Section Trends in India - Convenience or Compulsion of Corporate Healthcare
Quiz on Low-Calorie Diet for Diabetes
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Weaver Syndrome 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Interaction Checker Diaphragmatic Hernia Drug Side Effects Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Hearing Loss Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Noscaphene (Noscapine) Blood Pressure Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

'Selfish' Genes Tell Us to Stay Home When We are Feeling Sick Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests