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Scientists have discovered a new organ in skin

August 16, 2019 | Comment icon 6 comments



How pain works is more complex than anyone had realized. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Lupus in Saxonia
It turns out that our skin may be home to an entirely new organ and it is all to do with how we process pain.
Typically our skin registers pain through the sensitive endings of certain nerve cells which are connected to other cells known as glia - one type of which being Schwann cells.

In a new study, researchers in Sweden discovered that some of these Schwann cells form an extensive 'mesh-like' network that plays a direct role in how pain is perceived.

Given that this network is spread throughout the skin as part of a large, intricately connected system, the researchers believe that it should in fact be considered a whole new organ.
"Our study shows that sensitivity to pain does not occur only in the skin's nerve [fibers], but also in this recently discovered pain-sensitive organ," said senior study author Patrik Ernfors.

One caveat is that the study has focused primarily on mice so far, so further research will be needed to determine if this new organ works the same way in human skin (or if it even exists in humans at all).

If all goes well however, the discovery could prove invaluable in the development of new and effective types of painkillers as well as specific treatments for various pain-related disorders.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (6)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye 2 years ago
Extraterrestrial origin bioalien implant ... ~
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
Good find...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Yoyo1 2 years ago
I wonder how many mice were put through agony on the off-chance the research might have some sort of benefit for humans.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Unfortunately 2 years ago
I'm curious how this will play a role with congenital analgesia and whether such disorders will be easier to evaluate with the presence/absence of these newly found 'Schwann' cells. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by ScotDeerie 2 years ago
I have a pain perception issue. This is very interesting. It would explain a lot about a lot of different disorders if it pans out.
Comment icon #6 Posted by ScotDeerie 2 years ago
Probably lots less than are exterminated with feet, traps, baseball bats, snakes and flying or hunting carnivores every day. Would you rather they research on humans?


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