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Stress Vaccine? Don't Worry, Shot is on the Way, Says Dr. Robert Sapolsky

Dr. Robert Sapolsky spent years studying stress in baboons.
Dr. Robert Sapolsky spent years studying stress in baboons. (Presonal Photo/Dr. Robert Sapolsky) Presonal Photo/Dr. Robert Sapolsky

(CBS) Stressed out? There's no app for that, but soon enough there might be a vaccine.

Dr Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscience professor at Stanford, says after 30 years of studying stress, his team might be on the verge of a novel cure.

"To be honest, I'm still amazed that it works," Sapolsky told Wired in an August profile.

Sapolsky has long theorized that, unlike some animals, humans are unable to turn off stress chemicals used for the fight-or-flight mechanism. A class of hormone called glucocorticoids are one of the chief offenders, according to Sapolsky.

So his team has pioneered a way to bootstrap a "herpes virus to carry engineered 'neuroprotective' genes deep into the brain to neutralize the rogue hormones before they can cause damage," according to the Daily Mail.

Sounds properly science fiction, but will it work?

So far, rat studies have gone well, according to the British paper. Human trials are still years away.

Until then, don't give up your yoga mat.

Want to read the research? Click here.

Read more about Sapolsky's wild years studying baboon mating or check out his book "Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers."

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