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Exercise reduces muscular pain

A new study has found that acute exercise can worsen muscular pain but long-term exercise reduces it.

Researchers from Middleton Memorial Hospital in Madison, and the University of Wisconsin tested levels of experimental pain sensitivity in Gulf War veterans following acute exercise sessions.

As many as 1,00,000 veterans from the first Gulf War have reported chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) since returning home. Vets with CMP were predicted to rate naturally occurring pain from exercise as more intense. Thirty-two veterans (15 with CMP and 17 healthy) were studied, and the study protocols were reviewed and approved by the VA.

The researchers reported that, consistent with their hypothesis, vets with CMP claimed that heat induced pain stimuli was more intense and unpleasant than evidenced in healthy subjects.

They also had greater leg pain intensity during exercise and were more sensitive to the pain stimuli following acute exercise compared to pre-exercise ratings. Pain thresholds, however, did not show significant differences between healthy subjects and those with CMP, contrary to what the researchers hypothesised.

Monkeys too comfort each other post conflict

A new research by scientists in Italy has shown that monkeys who witness conflict often seek out the company of other bystanders — possibly as a way to relieve tension within the group as a whole.

This kind of a behaviour is often seen in humans when they come across disputes.
As part of the study, Arianna De Marco at the University of Florence, Italy, and colleagues saw this behaviour among Tonkean macaques as they observed two captive groups over seven months.

When a macaque behaved aggressively — by chasing, grabbing or biting, for instance — De Marco chose a bystander at random and recorded whether it would ‘affiliate’ with another macaque within 5 minutes of the conflict ending.

The primates were considered to be affiliating if they sat near, groomed or played with another bystander.

For comparison, De Marco observed the same macaque for 5 minutes the next day at approximately the same time.

Yeast could yield efficient, economical biofuel

A University of Illinois metabolic engineer has identified a strain of yeast with increased alcohol tolerance that could lead to more efficient and economical production of biofuels.
Biofuels are produced through microbial fermentation of biomass crops, which yield the alcohol-based fuels ethanol and iso-butanol if yeast is used as the microbe to convert sugars from biomass into biofuels.

Yong-Su Jin identified four genes (MSN2, DOG1, HAL1, and INO1) that improve tolerance to ethanol and iso-butanol when they are overexpressed.

Overexpression of any of the four genes remarkably increased ethanol tolerance, but the strain in which INO1 was overexpressed showed an increase more than 70 per cent for ethanol volume and more than 340 per cent for ethanol tolerance.

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