HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Cambridge led team discovers gene mutation which prevents carriers from feeling pain

Researchers have discovered a gene mutation which prevents the otherwise healthy carriers from sensing pain, after studying three related families with a rare genetic disorder in northern Pakistan.

The research, published today in the journal Nature, provides insight into the mechanics of pain and could lead to the development of more effective pain treatments.

The carriers of the very rare genetic mutation are unable to perceive any form of pain but have otherwise completely normal sensory functions. The initial case study was a ten-year-old street performer in Pakistan with the genetic mutation. His inability to feel pain enabled him to place knives through his arms and walk on burning coals. (The young boy died before his fourteenth birthday from injures sustained after jumping off a roof.)

The scientists subsequently studied six individuals with the genetic mutation from three related families, all originating from northern Pakistan. The six relatives had not experienced pain at any time in their lives. Detailed neurological examinations revealed that there was no evidence of motor or sensory disease, and that they could perceive a number of sensations (including touch, warm and cold temperature, tickle and pressure).

As pain is a survival mechanism which enables organisms to minimise damage to tissues, they had all sustained a variety of injuries, including injuries to their lips and/or tongue from biting themselves when young.

By studying these individuals, the scientists were able to determine that a mutation in the gene SCN9A causes a loss of function in the voltage-gated sodium channel it encodes (subunit Nav1.7). Sodium channels are proteins which excite neurons, and though the precise function of Nav1.7 is unclear, as part of a sodium channel it would play a role in exciting sensory neurons.

Dr Geoffrey Woods, from the Department of Medical Genetics and the University of Camb
'"/>

Contact: Genevieve Maul
Genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-077-740-17464
University of Cambridge
13-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Third annual Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships awarded to 10 noted journalists
2. deCODE discovers cause of major subtype of glaucoma
3. UB scientist discovers novel iron-copper alliance
4. Research team discovers gallstone gene
5. University of Pittsburgh discovers genetic shut down trigger in healthy immune cells
6. Scripps research team discovers a chemical pathway that causes mice to overeat and gain weight
7. Joslin discovers protein that causes blood vessel leakage and swelling with diabetic retinopathy
8. Nevada scientist part of team that discovers hybrid speciation in butterflies in Sierra
9. ROV discovers Antarctic seafloor fauna
10. Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water
11. Mayo researcher discovers target site for developing mosquito pesticides

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/31/2014)... biomass burning burning forests to create agricultural ... agriculture and wildfires figures into both climate ... release of a new study by Stanford University ... the degree of that contribution had never been ... paper published July 30 in the Journal ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... State University researchers have completed a 20-year study ... Hills prairie at different times of the year. ... late spring time frame has no measurable negative ... have multiple benefits. , The study was conducted ... Prairie Biological Station fire chief, and Joseph Craine, ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... Neb., July 31, 2014 -- Do people make a ... mothers raise them that way? Is it a matter ... Nebraska-Lincoln and a colleague from Rice University say that ... some people lean left while others lean right. , ... and deep-seated psychology are at the core of political ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 2Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 3Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 4Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter 2Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter 3Scientists find growing consensus: Political attitudes derive from body and mind 2
(Date:8/1/2014)... August 01, 2014 Once a decision ... cost? This webinar will discuss how to define your ... Join speakers Bob Allen, Senior Director of Facilities Integration ... Engineering at Fluor Industrial Services, and special guest Carrier ... Planning at Amgen, as they provide an examination of ...
(Date:8/1/2014)... -- Cambrex Corporation (NYSE: CBM ) reports results ... Highlights , Second quarter sales increased 59% ... last year. , Second quarter EBITDA increased 86% to ... last year (see table at the end of this release). ... impact of foreign currency, to between 13% and 16% over ...
(Date:8/1/2014)... ON (PRWEB) August 01, 2014 ... has led to a better understanding embryonic development. ... and reorganize into structurally and functionally distinct tissues ... physical defects. Prof. Todd McDevitt, Melissa Kinney, ... biophysical signals interact with biochemical cues to control ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... August 01, 2014 “2014 ... Polyurethane Resin Industry” is a professional and ... The report introduces Polyurethane Resin basic information, ... chain structure and industry overview. This research ... domestic market as well as global industry ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Defining Low Cost in Your Solution for Future Facilities, New Webinar for Pharma, Biotech, Medical Device and Healthcare Companies, Hosted by Xtalks 2Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 2Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 3Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 4Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 5Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 6Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 7Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 8Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 9Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 10Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 11Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 12Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 13Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 14Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 15Cambrex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 16Study Links Biomechanics and Gene Expression in Stem Cells 2Polyurethane Resin Industry & Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market (China, Global) Analysis Now at DeepResearchReports.com 2Polyurethane Resin Industry & Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market (China, Global) Analysis Now at DeepResearchReports.com 3Polyurethane Resin Industry & Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market (China, Global) Analysis Now at DeepResearchReports.com 4
Cached News: