Rats 'feel the distress' of other rats, Dutch neuroscientists say

They seem to have a mechanism for caring similar to ours.

Image source: Ukki Studio/Shutterstock
  • A new study demonstrates that a rat will respond to another's pain.
  • Freezing in place as another rat is shocked is one of empathy's visible indicators.
  • The rats' mechanism for feeling the distress of others seems to be similar to our own.
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Surprising Science

Woman with rare gene mutations feels no pain, anxiety

The discovery could lead to improved treatments for chronic pain.

Image source: CC0 Public Domain
  • A woman in Scotland was found to feel virtually no pain and report zero trace of any anxiety or depression.
  • Her body also seems to heal injuries very quickly, leaving little or no scarring.
  • Humans feel pain as a warning before serious injury occurs, so it's not necessarily desirable to feel absolutely no pain.
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Surprising Science

3 qualities of super resilient people

The formula for resilience? Hope, grit, and amnesia.

  • Shaka Senghor spent 19 years in prison, seven years of which he was in solitary confinement – a punishment designed to drive a person crazy after 90 days.
  • In his most adverse moments, Senghor took inspiration from the memoirs of great minds, learning resiliency from their words and stories.
  • Resilience boils down to 3 ingredients: Optimism – you have to acknowledge it's a dark period with light at the end; resourcefulness – find aspects of your environment you can use to help you cope; and memory loss – stop replaying memories inside your head. It only holds you hostage.
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Animals feel pain. Why do people believe they don't?

The psychological disconnect between humans and other animals puts all forms of life at risk.

Equine intern Emma Saric monitors and supports a horse suffering from what is known as Kissing Spines, where sections of bone attached to the vertebrae are too close together and impinge on each other. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
  • As part of the EU Withdrawal Bill, British MPs refused to recognize animal sentience.
  • Yet it is well-documented that animals feel a range of feelings, including pain.
  • The delusional idea that only humans experience emotions has lead to a variety of catastrophic problems, such as mass factory farming
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Surprising Science

Why toxic relationships are so draining. And when to break them off.

Who you let into your mental space matters.

  • Wanting to be a "nice person" often stops people from establishing the boundaries they need to protect their mental space from toxic people.
  • For Shaka Senghor, self-pity and pessimism are two traits that turn relationships toxic. Consider that people may not know what they are doing: "[T]hey're just repeating the cycle of hurt people hurting people," says Senghor.
  • It takes courage to confront a problem head on, but an honest conversation is often the best way for things to change – and if nothing improves, value yourself enough to walk away.
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