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Look At Sick People To Give Your Immune System a Boost

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the taskmaster-HMO dept.

Canada 271

Scientists at the University of British Columbia have found that looking at someone who appears sick boosts your immune system. Subjects had blood taken before and after watching a 10-minute slide show that contained disturbing images including people who appeared sick. Results of the blood tests showed people who had seen the sick people had a stronger immune system. From the article: "In the study, young adults were asked to watch a 10-minute slide show containing a series of unpleasant photographs. Some pictures included people who looked obviously ill in some way. The subjects' blood samples were then tested for levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a substance produced by the immune system that indicates your immune system is ramping up to more aggressively fight infection. As a control, pictures of people brandishing guns were also used on some participants—and they barely resulted in a significant increase in IL-6 production, signifying that IL-6 production is not simply a reaction to stress."

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Frist Prost (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31749664)

stupid Niggers

Re:Frist Prost (4, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749708)

I'm sorry, but the answer was Naggers.

Alternate interpretation (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749678)

As a control, pictures of people brandishing guns were also used on some participants--and they barely resulted in a significant increase in IL-6 production, signifying that IL-6 production is not simply a reaction to stress.

You could look at it that way. Or you could see that the data clearly shows that none of the subjects' had immune systems capable of protecting them from bullets.

Re:Alternate interpretation (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749914)

Or you could see that the data clearly shows that none of the subjects' had immune systems capable of protecting them from bullets.

That's not completely true. The problem is with the visibility of the bullets. At the subjects weren't able to see the bullets in movement, their bullet resistance didn't raise.

To prove that theory we shot them with visible bullets and, as postulated, they were indeed immune.

You can check the results in our full analysis: [i]"Bullet resistance to bullets slowed down to improve their visibility"[/i].

Re:Alternate interpretation (2, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749958)

Or perhaps the subjects have seen so much gun-play on TV that seeing guns in pictures no longer evokes a stressful response.

Re:Alternate interpretation (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750040)

Right, because we almost never see sick people on TV, or anywhere else for that matter.

Re:Alternate interpretation (1)

KingOfTheMoon (1315575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750384)

From TFA: "Our participants rated those guns pictures as more distressing than the disease-y pictures."

Re:Alternate interpretation (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749974)

the data clearly shows that none of the subjects' had immune systems capable of protecting them from bullets

Yes, and also that their immune systems were programmed to already know this...

Re:Alternate interpretation (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750264)

and they barely resulted in a significant increase in IL-6 production

I'd just like to know how you "barely" have a "significant increase"....

Re:Alternate interpretation (1)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750622)

I'd just like to know how you "barely" have a "significant increase"....

Not a biologist.....
but, If an immune response to other stimuli causes a increase somewhere between X and Z then a "significant increase" is one that either falls within that range or at least approaches it.

So if the increase reaches X.01 it has matched the "significant" criteria, but just barely.

like I said, not a biologist, but semantically speaking that's what the statement means.

Re:Alternate interpretation (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750300)

Security through obscurity. A bullet has to hit certain critical points in order to be fatal. Most of the body is a decoy. And it's covered by an opaque curtain. You have to have specific, inside information about anatomy, or have been clued by experienced hackers, to know where to aim your bullets. But, like all matters of security through obscurity, once the truth is out there it's like no security at all. Even swapping your heart for your brain won't make you more secure.

Why do photos of guns cause stress? (3, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749724)

I don't get it. When I see pictures of people with guns, I immediately try to discern the make and model, then go to the internet to get the specs to see if it's something I'd want to buy.

The fact that the majority of the world has denied the human right of self defense to its citizens is the only thing I can think of that would be a cause of stress with respect to guns.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31749832)

Why does looking at penises make heterosexuals stressed? because they are closet homos.

So by analogy the people who get stressed when look at guns recognize internally that they are living a lie and their current position is untenable.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750004)

It's really funny to me that you don't realize that the idea of having defend yourself (ostensibly from death or some other dangerous contingency) with lethal force is very stressful.

Or maybe you're just a little kid that likes the idea of guns. And doesn't realize that the purpose of a gun is to kill.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750072)

oops that was supposed to be +1 insightful :p

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750074)

So you are saying that fear of guns is learned? At least that part of your governments propaganda didn't win you over. Oh, and guns DO NOT kill people.... it's the person holding the gun that kills people. A car is just as much a weapon as a gun (hell, it's 1 ton of metal flying at 70mph).

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750184)

Everything besides suckling is learned.

Guns are used to kill people like trains are used transport people. If you cannot at least acknowledge the purpose of the tool you are not qualified to own one. Grow up and respect your weapon. Don't jump around like a giddy child giggling about a toy.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750312)

1. The guns I've been around have never be shot at or near someone, only used for food that night. (Sorry you never ate fresh game as it's delicious.)
2. I've almost been killed by a car twice in my life from being hit by it as a pedestrian.
3.The immune system response they speak about is NOT LEARNED, but innate. That's the point of the article. Dumbass.
4.Which one do you think I fear? The gun that put food on my table or the car that almost killed me?

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750684)

The fact that you are deliberately ignoring the point that the weapon's purpose is to kill and should therefore be respected terrifies me. Maybe this is why people cannot NRA types like you. Not once did I ever suggest that guns be restricted: just respected.

The point of the article is that signs of illness (but not stress) cause the reaction. There is no mention as to whether the response is innate or learned. They didn't test it on infants, so there is no way to know if it is innate or learned. Maybe you should rethink your insult?

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750256)

Oh, and guns DO NOT kill people.... it's the person holding the gun that kills people.

Which is nothing more than a cute attempt at trying to deflect the fact that the sole purpose of a gun is to maim and or kill people.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (5, Informative)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750492)

Really? because I have been a gun owner for about 15+ years and my guns have never maimed or killed anyone. Maybe I should return them for a refund??

I enjoy target shooting. I don't even hunt, and have never shot at a live animal or human being before. I bought MY guns for the sole purpose of shooting at cardboard targets. So to be honest, it is YOUR opinion that is twisted - if you think the only purpose for guns is killing or harming other human beings, that says a lot more about your psychological profile than anything. And if you can point to any case where a gun killed somebody by itself, with no additional human interaction, I will eat all of my guns. You see, people kill people. There was murder and violence (and a lot more of it) before there were guns. Given the choice, would you rather be run through by a sword and die slowly, or be shot by a gun and die quickly??

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750518)

Really?

Are you really asking this? Yes, guns are for maiming and killing people. This is the whole point of how they are a deterrent to people who would want to harm you. If they weren't for such a purpose exactly what is the point of carrying one around?

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750698)

Can you even read? If so, go back and read my entire post. I believe your question is answered. My guns are not a deterrent to anyone but cardboard targets. I did not buy my guns for defense, or for offense to or against any living person or creatures. I bought them to shoot at targets, which is what I do with them. It is a hobby, or even a sport to me. So take your self-righteous attitude that anyone who buys a gun wants to kill someone, and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. You are not going to convince me. I know exactly why i bought my guns and what I use them for. For you to tell me otherwise is arrogant, self-serving, and ridiculous on your part.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750788)

So take your self-righteous attitude that anyone who buys a gun wants to kill someone, and stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

I never said that anyone who buys a gun wants to kill someone so your claims of some supposed self-righteous attitude has no basis. I said that the point of a gun is to kill or maim someone. That you use it for a different purpose than it's intended use doesn't change that. I can use a hammer to go around breaking car windows. Does that change the fact that the intent of a hammer is to do things like drive in nails, etc?

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (4, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750506)

Not really

A gun is just a tool. The purpose relates to the intent of the person with the gun.

My intent with my Glock, and therefore the purpose is self defense from criminals, and wild animals. If you have to go to south Phoenix with a lot of cash, or happen to be walking your dog and happen upon a herd of Javilina in the spring, you'll see what I mean.

My intent with my rifle, and therefore the purpose is recreation. It's fun and challenging to shoot targets 100s of yards away with iron sights.

My father's intent with his rifle is to shoot, and subsequently eat a deer, therefore the purpose is hunting.

A criminal's intent bay be to kill a competitor or rob a store, therefore the purpose is to kill or at least threaten people.

Tools do not have intent; they are inert. It takes a person to bring intent and purpose to the tool.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750590)

My intent with my Glock, and therefore the purpose is self defense from criminals, and wild animals.

And how is it going to provide self-defense if not for the threat of maiming or killing the person who would be attacking you?

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750654)

OK! So you would rather people use swords as self defence again? Let's compare the two: possible instant death to bleeding and in pain for an hour while you bleed out. You pick which is more "humane" for self defence.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750740)

No, I'm not against people having or carrying guns. I object to people who attempt to try to claim that guns aren't made for the specific purpose of maiming or killing things.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750768)

He won't answer. I asked the exact same question earlier. He will only repeat his talking points, and not address any actual logic. Forget it.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750824)

Your supposed "logic" is nothing but an attempt to deny the reality of what guns are for. It would be like arguing that a hammer isn't really for driving in nails because you can also use it to break windows.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (3, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750840)

You said its sole purpose is “to maim and or kill people”. This is incorrect.

A weapon worn for self-defense has two purposes.

Its primary purpose is to show the threat of maiming or killing the would-be assailant. Its secondary purpose is to maim and/or kill an attacker who was not deterred by its primary purpose.

However, the “sole” purpose (nor the primary purpose even) is NOT to maim and/or kill.

Besides all of which, you say “maim and or kill” as if maiming and/or killing an attacker in self-defense is wrong.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750948)

It takes a person to bring intent and purpose to the tool.

And if the "tool" happens to be designed to be lethal, do you have any problem with the ownership of that "tool" being carefully regulated by civil authorities, including licensing?

This is the question that separates the responsible gun owners from gun jackoffs.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750884)

Oh, and guns DO NOT kill people.... it's the person holding the gun that kills people.

sometimes, dogs shoot their owners [google.com] .
just sayin...

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750872)

No, the purpose of a gun is to propel a lead slug at around super sonic velocities in the direction the gun is pointed. Much like a nail gun is used to propel a nail.

An arrow can be used to kill a person or used to hunt or these days more for target practice, much like laser tag. I don't usually get stressed looking at a laser tag gun or any other kind of gun because their common use of that tool in my world, much like British Columbia, is non-lethal.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750220)

I would question the mental state of someone who doesn't think having a gun brandished at you with the intent of doing you harm isn't considered a stressful situation.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750936)

Perhaps you should reconsider. Do you understand the difference between:

a gun brandished at you with the intent of doing you harm

and

photos of people who were brandishing guns (most of which were pointed right at the camera, which means they were aimed right at participants themselves)

?

The gun can harm you. The photograph cannot, regardless of which direction the gun in the photograph was pointed.

Re:Why do photos of guns cause stress? (1, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750864)

When I see pictures of people with guns, I immediately try to discern the make and model, then go to the bathroom to jack off to pictures of burly men in paramilitary clothing

FTFY

If you own a gun, you are much more likely to hurt yourself or a loved one accidentally than you are to ever find yourself in a situation where the gun will provide you with any self-defense. I wish people who call themselves "2nd Amendment Advocates" would just admit that the reason they want guns is because it makes them feel less insignificant and powerless over their miserable lives. The notion that guns are bought for "self-defense" is just not holding up. And the assertion that by buying a handgun they are making sure the government doesn't become a tyranny is too ridiculous to comment on. If you don't believe that most gun ownership is driven by feelings of sexual inadequacy, just watch how differently a gun owner moves and walks before and after he puts on his holster.

If you really want to see a gun nut flinch, just tell them you want to start an organization that advocates for gun ownership for poor minorities, and will train minorities in the safe and effective use of guns and marksmanship. Ask them if they'd be interested in donating.

Does it work on other things... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31749730)

...like politics? If you show people the horrendous effects on people of the policies of heartless, greedhead Repugnicans, do people become more liberal?

Re:Does it work on other things... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749842)

Or are there images that would drop ones immune system?

Like perhaps rotten.com or goatse, or would those images still increase ones immune system?

Re:Does it work on other things... (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749976)

Why would the same types of images from this experiment have an opposite reaction? Images of unicorns, puppies and rainbows would give the the signal to lower the immune system. In reality, there would be no immune system response to lower immunity without the use of drugs.

Re:Does it work on other things... (1)

KingOfTheMoon (1315575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750216)

A prior paper that they quoted suggested that "immune function, especially the innate (i.e., rapid) component, may be directly mobilized by cues that are disgust-evoking" Oaten et al. (2009).

So by that hypothesis, yeah, goatse might also boost the immune system. I'd speculate that revulsion to a greasy distended anus is strongly related to disease (or at least injury) at some level. But all that aside, I'd gladly take a bout of the flu to erase goatse from my brain.

Your offical guide to the Jigagoo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31749738)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your offical guide to the Jigagoo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750024)

This whole thing was actually worth reading for the Pulp Fiction punchline.

Actually (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749746)

After watching a depressing 10 minute slide show of people who were feeling sick, all of the test subjects felt like getting drunk. Sadly, the only thing available was cough medicine.

Microsoft To Blame (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749774)

Step #1: Fire up Linux box
Step #2: Hook up webcam
Step #3: Point webcam at co-worker's Windows box
Step #4: Linux more secure than ever.

Re:Microsoft To Blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750006)

I spanked one out to your comment

Re:Microsoft To Blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750034)

If your webcam works in Linux...just saying.

Re:Microsoft To Blame (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750052)

Sure, all I had to do was recompile the kernel

Apples (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749782)

I prefer eating apples to looking at sick people for immune system boosts. They don't make me feel crummy through empathy and they have the added benefit of being delicious.

...

Oranges can be substituted for apples if absolutely necessary.

Re:Apples (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750108)

Apples are good, yes. I suggest a glass of mead as well, as honey is believed to boost the immune system and act as an antibiotic in its own right. In fact, if you get really drunk on the stuff, you might never get sick again.

Stress? (2, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749804)

If they wanted to control for stress, showing pictures of guns in not going to do it. The average person does not get stressed when they see a picture of a gun. For an accurate control of stress, they would need to have someone burst in with a prop gun. THAT will cause stress. In any case, is it really a surprise that the body will boost its immunity when it detects a possible disease threat? I think we have a word that already accounts for that: evolution.

Re:Stress? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750020)

The average person doesn’t get stressed when they see a picture of a sick person, either. Nor is it a possible disease threat, unless a sick person had handled the photograph...

Re:Stress? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750710)

Human's have had enough time to subconsciously see that a sick person is a threat. They have been a threat since humans began living communally. Guns are not inherently a threat, however. Even if you see guns as threatening in real life, a picture will not be threatening, consciously or unconsciously. Plus, guns have not been around enough to where a person can have a subconscious reaction to it. The fear of guns is a learned behavior. The fear of sick individuals is an evolutionary behavior. Maybe, if guns are around long enough and death by firearm becomes common enough(as in, 1-5 people being shot all around you, in any place in the world), humans may develop an unconscious fear or wariness of the general shape of a firearm. But right now, no.

Re:Stress? (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750038)

In any case, is it really a surprise that the body will boost its immunity when it detects a possible disease threat?

No, that's not a surprise, but you missed the point of the study. The interesting part is that "when it detects a possible threat" can be triggered by images, rather than by physical exposure of your immune system to pathogens. That suggests that immune response has a pathway through your brain.

Re:Stress? (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750146)

Is it surprising? YES. Sure, it's easy to say after the experiment, "hey, that makes sense" and then call it obvious, but this is a really amazing mechanism, and I would not personally have guessed that our bodies are able to anticipate disease just through an image.

Re:Stress? (1)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750276)

I think we have a word that already accounts for that: evolution.

You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

"Origin of life" debates aside the "body will boost its immunity when it detects a possible disease threat" is an example of a system, not of an evolution.

Unless you are trying to imply that transforming to a different developmental stage by producing more IL-6, which would be sort of like saying that trees are evolving every time they produce leaves.

Words mean things, and meanings are important.

btw: I wouldn't be bothering to point this out... but someone already beat me to the more obvious flaw in your comment.

Re:Stress? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750546)

It's evolution in the same sense that dead and decaying humans smell so terrible: it's a warning of danger. Perhaps I should be more specific: it is not evolution itself, but rather a product of it. There is plenty of evidence that humans look at visible clues to determine whether or not another individual is dangerous. That is all this is. The brain recognizes that the sick person is a potential danger, realizes that person is sick, and starts protecting itself against any possible disease that might be transmitted.

Re:Stress? (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750940)

is it really a surprise that the body will boost its immunity when it detects a possible disease threat? I think we have a word that already accounts for that: evolution.

What is novel is the mechanism. We know that once nasties get into the body it starts pumping up resistance. Yet these people only looked at pictures. That means that a specific pattern of light can boost your immune system. That's crazy!

Makes good sense (4, Insightful)

querent23 (1324277) | more than 4 years ago | (#31749822)

This makes perfect evolutionary sense for an emergent, highly social species. Without such a mechanism, it is possible that cities could never have occurred.

Re:Makes good sense (5, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750174)

Better talk about it the other way around, or some people might strenghten their weird understanding of evolution.

When our ancestors were encountering visibly sick individuals, those with traits of discovered mechanism were somewhat more likely to survive and leave offspring.

Re:Makes good sense (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750176)

This probably predates the evolution of humans as it would make sense for any social species, including most primates.

Re:Makes good sense (1)

querent23 (1324277) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750306)

Right. Agreed. Which is why I called is a sine qua non. In agreement with sznupi, too. Forgive my biologists shorthand. :)

Re:Makes good sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750958)

What I thought immediately after reading the article was "cool, I'll just watch some disgusting pics every day and my immune system will work at 150% efficiency". My question, however, is why aren't our immune systems working like this all the time? Does "ramping up" your immune system have negative (long term?) effects as well?

and by that logic (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31749852)

Looking at fat people will make you thin,
  and looking at poor people will make you rich.

Re:and by that logic (1)

flanaganid (900938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750612)

I find that watching zombie movies really helps with immortality.

I've got to get busy! (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750014)

I've got a bunch of unattractive poor people to look at!

Re:I've got to get busy! (1)

Tickety-boo (1206428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750560)

You've come to the right place....

healthy enough already = ? (2, Interesting)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750032)

My immune system is currently plenty strong and I never get sick; if I look at sick people and boost it even further, will I get an autoimmune disease?

Re:healthy enough already = ? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750252)

Uhm, not likely. Your immune system is simply working properly; that includes boosting its activity when its needed (and toning it down when it would be a waste of energy, high activity needlessly increasing the risk of some tumors, etc.)

Re:healthy enough already = ? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750348)

no, but a "+1" will appear in the lower-left corner of your house

I'd rather be sick... (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750042)

Can anyone even stand 10 minutes of looking at goatse?

Re:I'd rather be sick... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750628)

My butt clinches when i see it so I think my immune system is having the described effect.

Correlation Is Not Causation (5, Insightful)

shambalagoon (714768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750060)

I just noticed the "correlationisnotcausation" tag. Is that just a knee-jerk reaction to studies now?

Are we suggesting that an increase in immune system activity CAUSED people to view a slide show about sick people?

Re:Correlation Is Not Causation (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750240)

Seriously, that tag is so overused now it's sickening (har har). It's used on Slashdot for practically anything, even if the study doesn't attempt to prove or claim causation. At some point, you have to admit that, you know, not all researchers are complete dumbasses.

In this case, how would you honestly argue that it's NOT causation? People were shown a slideshow, those people's immune systems had a response. THAT IS CAUSATION. We're not looking at survey results here, it's not like we can claim people who are more likely to look at pictures of sick people are more likely to have an immune boost from looking at anything.

Re:Correlation Is Not Causation (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750242)

Haha yeah, it's pretty inappropriate in this case. This was a causational study, not simply a measurement of correlation in the wild: they varied a variable in a laboratory setting, and measured how varying it changed the response variable.

There are of course many ways the study could be flawed, but it's not a case of measuring a correlation and then inferring a causation from it.

Laughter is the best medicine... (1)

igaborf (69869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750078)

...that's why when I look at sick people, I laugh.

150 years (0, Flamebait)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750080)

If I put up a pic of Ann Coulter, I'll live to 150!

    -1 political jokes not allowed

Re:150 years (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750368)

what profit a man to gain living to 150 if he be turned to stone?

I'll just swagger down to the local hospital ... (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750082)

... and ask, "Y'all got any folks here who look like real sick? I need to look at 'em to boost my im-ma-ume system, or sumptin' like that.

Maybe that's why Mother Theresa lived so long: "For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Theresa [wikipedia.org] " She must have had one tough bad-ass immune system.

So if I watch more NASCAR, will I avoid traffic accidents, and get cheaper car insurance?

Maybe programmers should be forced to look at buggy programs . . . ?

Re:I'll just swagger down to the local hospital .. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750672)

"Maybe programmers should be forced to look at buggy programs . . . ?"

We did give them all Windows machines.

That's Gonna Get Me Off To A Bad Start (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750090)

I guess I'm gonna have to start shaving every day again, damn.

Correlation is not causation, but causation is. (2, Funny)

neonleonb (723406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750106)

Why the dickens are people tagging this "correlationisnotcausation"? It was a controlled experiment, so there weren't any hidden causes to explain away the causation. It's like people don't actually understand what "correlation is not causation" means... but I'd hoped that at least here on Slashdot folks would be cleverer than that.

Re:Correlation is not causation, but causation is. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750390)

Glad you made this post, I was about to say something similar when I saw it. I think it's some weird kneejerk reaction whenever a study is posted here. It's frequent misuse just shows that some taggers don't even know what the phrase means. When you have effect B that is demonstrably induced via cause A, then it's not a matter of correlation - it is causation.

The only thing I'd question here is the use of pictures of people w/ guns to produce stress, as there are many people for which this is not stressful (especially given the prevalence of the same in media). Screaming children, screeching brakes, alarm clocks, etc -- all of these would be more generally useful than pictures of people with guns.

Re:Correlation is not causation, but causation is. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750578)

just to explain your comment: correlation can occur without causation. causation can't occur without correlation. in order to tell the difference you conduct a controlled experiment with cases that include the hypothesized cause and other cases that include the control, a situation without the hypothesized cause. when you observe the effect in the cases with the hypothesized cause, you have not disproved the hypothesis. when you do not observe the hypothesized effect in the control cases, you have differentiated the cause from random chance. this method isn't without its susceptibility to obfuscatory results. the control may include some other cause that prevents the effect, or the effect may occur due to other causes inseperable from the cases with the hypothesized cause. it takes some careful inspection to ensure that these unintended causes are not present in any of the cases. also, measurement and analysis errors may propagate in the experiments, but these can usually be averaged-out by statistical reliance on the "Law of Large Numbers" (which has its own caveats, P=0.002)

"I'd hoped that at least here on Slashdot folks would be cleverer than that"

clearly, you haven't run that experiment nearly long enough to determine such a correlation

needle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31750128)

I wonder if sticking a needle into someone's arm to extract blood may provoke an immune response?

Re:needle? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750616)

Yes, it will.

Provided you consider punching a mad scientist in the face to prevent being the subject of ill-conceived experiments part of the immune system.

Works for me (3, Funny)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750162)

All I know is that when I go visit my 87 year old grandma at the old folks home, I develop a burning desire to go to the gym and eat broccoli.

Games (1)

Darylium (1015809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750172)

So, playing a shooter game with lots of blood and gore is actually good for your health?

Re:Games (1)

nevermore94 (789194) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750662)

Only if it is a Zombie game, pictures of people with just guns had little effect.
Perhaps the Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead games could be good immune boosters.

Maybe it was just drawing the blood? (1)

slacklinejoe (1784298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750178)

I'll admit, I only skimmed the article, but wouldn't it make a lot more sense that the immune system would be boosted from the physical act of them taking the "Before" sample? The fact that you're missing blood is something the body would definately sense and react to. Not saying it's implausible, but it seems like a rather large hole in the logic.

Re:Maybe it was just drawing the blood? (2, Interesting)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750418)

The control would have covered that, and it could indeed have accounted for the "barely significant" raise in levels in the controls.

Re:Maybe it was just drawing the blood? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750478)

They also took blood samples from the control group...

Of course it couldn't be (1)

MrBippers (1091791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750284)

that people are more stressed out by the perceived danger of illness after giving blood (and soon to give again) than by *pictures* of guns. On a side note why on earth are they taking 10 mL of blood from patients when only 0.2 mL is being used in the assay?

Better control groups using /. readers (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750594)

1) 10 minutes of video of someone else using a computer. E.g. someone filling out billing and shipping info on a web form, using the mouse to move to one field to the next, then when all the fields are just about filled out, clicking Back because they forgot to add an item to the shopping cart.

2) 10 minutes of a PowerPoint presentation. Just about anything with lots of text. Have the presenter read out everything on the slides, word for word.

I am a MD (1)

messner_007 (1042060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750618)

I work with very sick people every day ...

Those nasty bugs can't hurt me, because my immune system gets high every day I see them.

Obligatory Simpsons (1)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750664)

"Sarge, we keep getting orders to let the virus win!" "Must be a school day. Lay down your arms!" "Alright! Let's make some puffs!"

Good to know (1)

Toxicgonzo (904975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750742)

Note to self: Next time I'm feeling sick, stare at pictures of Amy Winehouse

I see dead people (2, Funny)

srobert (4099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750756)

If looking at sick people boosts the immune system, then looking at dead people should make me immortal.

New excuse to play violent video games (3, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31750880)

finally some research supporting "the other side" eh?

"This ain't pointless violence, it's immune boosting!"

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