Sunday, August 09, 2009

NEWS - itch gene discovered

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the first gene for the itch sensation in the central nervous system. The researchers, led by Zhou-Feng Chen, Ph.D., found that laboratory mice that lacked this gene scratched much less than their normal cage-mates when given itchy stimuli.
Wonderful. Mice are now sleeping more peacefully.
No mention of cancer research. Or heart disease. Or flesh eating disease. Or bubonic plague. Someone thought itching was paramount. Someone spent money figuring this out. Some aspiring medical student scientists, hoping to go the way of Louis Pasteur, followed Zhou-Feng into scratch free history.
Whoever said scratching was bad thing anyway? It can be a major source of pleasure to scratch with a stiff hair brush. The measurement being the length of your "aahhh" or the placid expression on your face. And the removal of the gene won't get rid of cooties, or mosquito bites, or hives.
Isn't the scratch sensation designed to tell us something? Sort of like, "Scratch here, Buddy, you have that rash again." Get some Blue Ointment.
Well this item was all over the news recently. Like it was a huge medical breakthrough in the fight against itch. It's enough to make old Louis P. drink raw milk.
Meanwhile the major news organizations were hot on the trail of what Paris Hilton was doing next. That alone is enough to make one itchy.

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