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Scientists turn off the ability to feel cold

Posted on Thursday, 14 February, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 
Neuroscientst David McKemy and his team have discovered a way to disable the sensation of cold.

The work is based on exploring the connection between feeling the cold and a protein called TRPM8 which senses low temperatures in the neurons of the skin. By isolating and ablating the neurons that express this protein, the team was able to test those cells' functionality specifically. Experiments conducted on mice using this technique revealed that the ability to feel the cold could be suppressed while still allowing the animals to feel warmth. It is hoped the research will eventually lead to new types of pain medication.

"The problem with pain drugs now is that they typically just reduce inflammation, which is just one potential cause of pain, or they knock out all sensation, which often is not desirable," said McKemy. "One of our goals is to pave the way for medications that address the pain directly, in a way that does not leave patients completely numb."

"USC neuroscientists have isolated chills at a cellular level, identifying the sensory network of neurons in the skin that relays the sensation of cold."

  View: Full article

 Source: Science Daily


  Discuss: View comments (11)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Coffey on 14 February, 2013, 17:14
I can't see the advantage of this, except for a "super soldier" and even then... You feel the cold as a warning system to make you know it's dangerous. Not feeling the cold won't stop someone from dying from it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 14 February, 2013, 19:55
I can't see the advantage of this, except for a "super soldier" and even then... You feel the cold as a warning system to make you know it's dangerous. Not feeling the cold won't stop someone from dying from it. Right. Imagine being under hypothermia(a potentially extremely lethal condition) and not feeling the initial on-set at all. Bad, bad, bad. EDIT: I've heard of those whom can't feel pain, or heat. Hand on hot burner stove. Yikes.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Coffey on 14 February, 2013, 20:43
Right. Imagine being under hypothermia(a potentially extremely lethal condition) and not feeling the initial on-set at all. Bad, bad, bad. EDIT: I've heard of those whom can't feel pain, or heat. Hand on hot burner stove. Yikes. Yeah i've seen that as well. It's really bad. Just relaised though, maybe being able to turn it off means they can learn how to turn it on when someone has it turned off naturally. Not sure if it would work that way though.
Comment icon #5 Posted by King Cobra 1408 on 14 February, 2013, 21:27
that's amazing except we don't need more dangerous medications with side effects however amazing finding though.another thing is pain is all in the mind/brain id we learn to focus and meditate and block pain by doing that we could block and eliminate pain completely no lie that's what meditation is about relaxing the body,mastering self control and so much more that's beneficial for the mind,spirit,soul and human body and etc.yoga,meditation,vitamins and supplements,herbal teas are my medications and natural as well and without any side effects and etc.yeah they have side effects you know whic... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by White Unicorn on 14 February, 2013, 21:33
I can't see the advantage of this, except for a "super soldier" and even then... You feel the cold as a warning system to make you know it's dangerous. Not feeling the cold won't stop someone from dying from it. Maybe prepping on how to be humane in the next ice age if the some of the power goes out at crucial times?
Comment icon #7 Posted by ashven on 14 February, 2013, 22:58
Coffey,i think the advantage of this maybe for students in their cheap digs
Comment icon #8 Posted by KainFall on 14 February, 2013, 23:57
When i was in elementary I walked to school and thoroughly enjoyed walking in the cold with no jacket on, My body had gained a natural ability to cope with my surrounding temperatures, a cold snowy day? A refreshingly cool day with white stuff falling from the sky and sticking to the ground.. That was during a 3 year period that I never got sick. Everything was considerably bliss. The powers our bodys withhold inside and the powers of healthy progressive natural highs. Beauty of reality in its finest.. More so reason why we dont need drugs/ medications. When we gain a stability of how the real... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hasina on 15 February, 2013, 0:00
Comment icon #10 Posted by Timonthy on 15 February, 2013, 3:35
If they ever find a "cure" for being miserable in summer heat I'll sign up to be the guinea pig for those experiments All you have to do is take off articles of clothing one by one until you reach a satisfactory level of happiness. Then you just need to cure the other people in the house by poking their eyes out.
Comment icon #11 Posted by TheOtherSide1945 on 15 February, 2013, 8:12
Please let this be true!!! I'm sick of working in -40!!!!!


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