Paper Boys

Episode 30

Why does pain hurt?

Your grunting and whining could be coming from just a few neurons.

When you touch a hot stove, you reflexively pull your hand away in an instant. If you get burned (and you’re like us), you’ll grunt and whine about the pain for hours. Both of these are “painful,” but why do they feel so different? It turns out there there are entirely different neurons dedicated to each feeling, and that means it might be possible to turn off certain pains. James brings in a paper that does testing on mutant rats to get to the bottom of the question: why is pain, well, painful?

Check out the journal paper in the journal Science here and the video from Seeker here.

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