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The Upside of Personal Tragedy

After painful life experiences we’re more likely to appreciate life’s little delights.

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Computers See Human Pain Better Than You

A new study reveals that expression recognition software performs way better than humans at discriminating between real and fake emotion.

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The Perks of Being a Fire Walker

Those who participated in a fire-walking ritual felt happier and less fatigued afterwards than close relatives who spectated.

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Torture Permanently Alters the Body’s Response to Pain

Could a new medical finding make it harder to claim something isn’t torture?

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Can Non-Violent Video Games Dampen Our Humanity?

That’s the tentative conclusion of two researchers, who report that frequent players of immersive games are apparently less sensitive to pain.

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9 Ideas to Make Tylenol and Other Acetaminophen Drugs Safer

Scientists, regulators, and manufacturers have come up with numerous proposals that could reduce the toll of deaths and injuries from one of America’s most popular drugs.

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The Racial Empathy Gap

Why, with all other things being equal, do people react more strongly to images of light-skinned individuals being harmed than they do to those involving dark-skinned individuals?

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Playing Prokofiev Is a Pain

A new study from Australia finds working as an orchestral musician takes an intense physical toll.

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Bondage Aficionados Are Better Adjusted Than Most

New research from the Netherlands finds that the psychological profile of people who enjoy certain non-mainstream sex games is surprisingly positive.

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The Power of the Creative Arts

A recent analysis of past studies highlights the health benefits of music, dance, and art therapy, which are now being used to ease cancer-related anxiety and pain.

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Why Do We Hurt Each Other?

Struggling to understand the Boston Marathon explosions.

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Quick Studies

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014