All The Feels

“Oh gosh. I haven’t actually done the count yet. But somewhere probably around 70 or 80.” That’s Steven Pete estimating how many of his bones he’s broken during his life. He can’t be sure, because much of the time he doesn’t notice. Steven Pete doesn’t feel pain. “Have you ever been out in the bitter, bitter cold, where your feet were ice? Almost frostbite? Then you warm them up and it burns? That burning sensation: That is what it feels like all the time.” That’s Pam Costa on what it’s like to live life of constant pain. As you might imagine, scientists are extremely interested in Steven and Pam. And a genetic link between the two could help researchers figure out how to lessen the impact of chronic pain. “Such a drug would not merely dull inflammation the way ibuprofen does or alter our neurochemistry the way opioids do: It would block the transmission of pain signals from cell to cell without ruinous side effects on the brain or body.” From Erika Hayasaki in Wired: How a single gene could become a volume knob for human suffering.

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