Aw, Rats!

It was only a matter of time before scientists tackled the problem of why gutter rats like Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh (to name just a few) thrive while more clean-living folks seem to do less well. AP science writer Seth Borenstein reports on a pair of recent studies suggesting that cleanliness may be next to godliness but not necessarily healthiness:

Rat Study Shows Dirty Better Than Clean

Gritty rats and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs, two studies indicate. The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick.

The studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, figures that people’s immune systems aren’t being challenged by disease and dirt early in life, so the body’s natural defenses overreact to small irritants such as pollen.

The new studies, one of which was published Friday in the peer reviewed Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, found significant differences in the immune systems between euthanized wild and lab rodents.

When the immune cells in the wild rats are stimulated by researchers, “they just don’t do anything they sit there; if you give them same stimulus to the lab rats, they go crazy,” said study co-author Dr. William Parker, a Duke University professor of experimental surgery. He compared lab rodents to more than 50 wild rats and mice captured and killed in cities and farms.

Also, the wild mice and rats had as much as four times higher levels of immunoglobulins, yet weren’t sick, showing an immune system tuned to fight crucial germs, but not minor irritants, Parker said. He said what happened in the lab rats is what likely occurs in humans: their immune systems have got it so cushy they overreact to the smallest of problems. more…

Who’d’ve thunk it? I’m living in the immunological equivalent of a gated community. So how come the neighborhood’s in such disrepair and the place is looking more and more like a police state?

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One thought on “Aw, Rats!

  1. Because since 1980 when Ronald Reagan became President he blamed the victim and not the perpetrator of crimes and then started to blame the victim and government for all the ills of the citizens of this country while he and his cronies got richer and took from the poor and gave to the rich. He also started to take away our civil rights by trying to make everyone take drug testing whether or not he/she had any indications they were misusing illegal drugs under the 5th and 14th amendments to the Constitution basically you were guilty before you were tried in a court of law if you refused to take a drug test for any reason. He also blamed everyone that was on welfare it was there fault they were on welfare and veterans for their injuries after having served this country in wars and the country’s times of need. So this President just took it one step further by collecting data on a citizens telephone and internet usage withoput just cause. The Republicans since 1948 have been trying to have a National I.D. Card and papers in order to travel throughout our country even though a ciziten was born and raised here and was a natural born citizen of this country but keep saying they want less government and people to have a say. How can that be when We have the scandals like we have had during the last 5-1/2 years this President has been in Office; the watergate affairs when Richard M. Nixon was in office; and the Iran-Contra scandal when Ronald Reagan was President. We have had the Tea Pot Dome scandal when the Republicans were in Charge of the Executive Branch, we slo had the Stock Market Crash in 1929 when Herbert Hoover was President and all the other recessions and depressions took place when under the Republican party in the Executive branch of government. When Bill Clinton was President he was impeached for having sex in the oval office with a intern but we had the biggest growth since the end of World War II, but the ten President Clinton never had any malfeasance of office nor any scandal pertaining to his job as the President of the United States.

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