New Scientist: When it comes to pain, a tiny variation in a single gene divides the men from the boys, reveals a new study.

US researchers have pinpointed differences in the way people withstand pain – both physical and emotional stress – to a gene which makes a protein important for brain chemistry.

The gene makes catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), an enzyme vital for mopping up the dopamine brain chemical linked with sensing pain.

Tough guys and wimps carry different forms of the gene