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UC Davis researchers discover key to body's ability to detect subtle temperature changes

said. The next question we are trying to address is whether they really have different temperature sensitivity. We believe the answer is yes, but we have to show that."

Zheng also believes it is likely that the channels responsible for sensing cold coassemble in the same way. The cold- and heat-sensing subunits, however, do not seem to coassemble, he said.

The findings by Zheng and his colleagues promise to help solve the mystery of temperature sensitivity in animals once and for all. And, because the cells with these ion channels in their membranes are also the cells that sense pain, the basic knowledge they have provided may one day prove useful to scientists looking for novel remedies for pain.

"We have to re-examine everything from how people acclimate to hot climates to how they respond to spicy food based on the understanding that there are many more kinds of channels involved," Zheng said.


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Contact: Carole Gan
carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California, Davis - Health System
26-Feb-2007


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