Does our immune system act as a defensive barrier, or a translator of different worlds? Is there a mismatch between our genetic heritage and our current environment? And can being less "clean" make us more healthy? Let's find out.
You don't need to purchase an air purifier for your house. You have a built-in air purifier called the respiratory system.
The myth that "natural is better" is widespread and pernicious. Though it can manifest in relatively harmless ways (e.g., consuming overpriced organic food), the relentless pursuit of all-things natural can be dangerous or even deadly. It is not an exaggeration to say that society's obsession with natural remedies is itself an illness. The latest weirdness comes from Germany, which according to New Scientist, is considering approval of parasite eggs as a food additive. After eating the eggs, little worms hatch, and people believe that these worms will cure them of their maladies. Most likely, they won't.
The American Academy of Pediatrics previously advised parents to keep infants away from peanuts until they were at least 36 months old. However, in 2008, the AAP retracted that
The hygiene hypothesis states that lack of exposure to germs at a young age may result in a weaker immune system in the child and consequently an increase in diseases related to the