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Health briefs: 'Love hormone'

The so-called "love hormone" oxytocin promotes greater kindness in monkeys, a new study finds. It included two rhesus macaques who were seated next to each other and trained to choose different symbols that either provided a squirt of fruit juice for the monkey itself, juice for the other monkey or no juice at all. In repeated tests, the monkeys had to make a choice between just two of the options: juice for self or no juice; juice to self or juice to other; and juice to other or no juice. After inhaling oxytocin, the monkeys paid more attention to each other and were more likely to give the other monkey juice, even if they didn't get juice themselves, the Duke University researchers found.

Getting used to stress

Stress among Americans appears to be down for the first time in five years and at its lowest point since 2007, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. The poll of 1,226 adults 18 and older found that the nation's average self-reported stress level in 2011 was 5.2 on a 10-point scale, compared with 6.2 in 2007. Experts say the decline in reported stress is likely due to the fact that stress has become a normal part of life for Americans, and they've adapted to it.

-- HealthDay

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