Naked Mole Rats Unable to Feel Burning Pain

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 1, 2008   View Article

Naked mole rats, like most creatures, don’t like to be pinched or pricked—but just try to get one to yelp by rubbing lemon juice or red-hot chili peppers over a cut. It won’t.

That’s because the hairless, finger-size rats are numb to the burning sensation that almost every other mammal feels when exposed to acids and hot peppers.

Oldest Dentistry in Americas Found – Fang Dentures?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 14, 2006   View Article

The earliest dental patient in the Americas spent many hours with the dentist and likely experienced excruciating—perhaps deadly—pain, according to an analysis released today of skeletal remains uncovered in the volcanic highlands of west-central Mexico.

Found at the oldest known burial site in Mesoamerica—the area from central Mexico south to El Salvador—the remains are dated to between 2570 B.C. and 2322 B.C.

Toxic Snail Venoms Yielding New Painkillers, Drugs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 14, 2005   View Article

In chronic pain? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at a corner pharmacy filling a prescription for synthetic snail venom sometime soon.

Last December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first painkiller derived from a cocktail of potent chemicals produced by cone snails.

Schiavo to Die Painlessly, Neurologists Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 28, 2005   View Article

The legal wrangling is effectively over: Doctors will not reinsert the feeding tube that kept Terri Schiavo alive for 15 years. Within days the brain-damaged 41-year-old Florida woman will die.

What will she go through in her last days? To find out, National Geographic News asked several neurologists for a medical explanation of Schiavo’s condition. They all agreed that, assuming that Schiavo is in fact in a persistent vegetative state, she will not experience physical pain.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach