London: Bullying doesn`t just hurt one`s feelings -- it can damage one`s immune system also, according to researchers who have based their findings on a study on monkeys. Lead author Jenny Tung at Duke University studied rhesus macaques and found that when one was introduced to a new group, which results in it having the lowest status, itbecame stressed and its immune system dropped in efficiency. The researchers believe that the social stress that moulds a monkey`s immune system could help understand how stress affects humans, the `Daily Mail` reported. In fact, they studied 10 groups of female macaques in which researchers could manipulate individuals` social rank. Before being placed into new groups, all of the macaques started out as middle rank. "In the wild, macaques inherit their social rank from their mothers. But in our research, the order of introduction determines rank. The newcomer is generally lower status. Whensome macaques` status changed after a newcomer arrived, so did their patterns of immune system gene activity," Tung said.
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