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If you're sore from a strenuous workout or your thumb is pulsating because you hit it with a hammer, look at a pretty picture or listen to your favorite song. It just might help you cope with whatever unpleasant feeling you're experiencing . That's the conclusion of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looked at the connection between human emotions and physical pain.

"Emotions – or mood – can alter how we react to pain since they're interlinked," says lead author Mathieu Roy. "Our tests revealed when pain is perceived by our brain and how that pain can be amplified when combined with negative emotions."
Scientists say they can now tell the condition of an old book by its odor. In a report published in Analytical Chemistry, a team of researchers describe development of a new test that can measure the degradation of old books and precious historical documents on the basis of their aroma. The non-destructive "sniff" test could help libraries and museums preserve a range of prized paper-based objects, some of which are degrading rapidly due to advancing age, the scientists say.

The new technique — an approach called "material degradomics" — analyzes the gases emitted by old books and documents without altering the documents themselves. The scientists used it to "sniff" 72 historical papers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
If rehospitalization is considered when grading health care, America's system is not all it is cracked up to be. Proof? New evidence indicates almost a quarter of heart failure patients with Medicare are back in the hospital within a month after discharge, researchers report today in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Each year, from 2004 through 2006, more than a half million Medicare recipients over age 65 went to the hospital for heart failure and were discharged alive.  And each year, about 23 percent returned to the hospital within 30 days – signaling a need to improve care, researchers said.  Readmission rates for all causes were almost identical all three years.
With Tropical Storm Ida currently dumping rain and high winds in the southeast we wanted to talk about coastal hazards.   Coastal hazards along America's shorelines threaten a significant percentage of the U.S. population.    Here is a quick beach quiz to find out how much you know about your risks.

1: What is a coastal hazard?
a)    Wind
b)    Waves
c)    Flooding
d)    All of the above
e)    None of the above

2: How many miles of shoreline does the United States have exposed to coastal hazards?
a)    7,000
b)    9,000
c)    5,500
d)    7,500
This week, scientists from Australia and the UK are taking a break from their professional research to wave their fists angrily at the alcohol industry. In hopes of reducing alcohol abuse, they are calling for a new approach to the debate over whether alcohol industry sponsorship of sports increases drinking among sports participants.  They want to shift the burden of proof to the alcohol industry.

The debate over sports sponsorship saw renewed activity last year when the findings of a 2008 New Zealand study among sports participants showed that those who received alcohol industry sponsorship – especially in the form of free or discounted alcohol – drank more heavily than those not in receipt of such sponsorship.
Conventional types of genetic analysis may not be as accurate as believed, according to researchers writing in Trends in Genetics.

Their analysis of penguins that died 44,000 years ago in Antarctica have provided extraordinary frozen DNA samples that they say challenges the accuracy of traditional genetic aging measurements, and suggest those approaches have been routinely underestimating the age of many specimens by 200 to 600 percent.  So a biological specimen determined by traditional DNA testing to be 100,000 years old may actually be 200,000 to 600,000 years old.

They say their findings raise doubts about the accuracy of many evolutionary rates based on conventional types of genetic analysis.