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Turning Off The Cold: Neuroscientists Remove Chilly Protein From Skin

February 13, 2013

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Are you tired of being cold all the time? Do you wish you could turn the cold off at the push of a button? Well neuroscientists from the University of South Carolina (USC) may have some good news for you.

It seems this group of researchers, led by David McKemy, associate professor of neurobiology in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science, have been able to isolate chilliness at the cellular level, identifying a network of sensory neurons in the skin that relays the sensation of cold to the brain. McKemy and his colleagues were able to selectively turn off this sensation in mice without affecting their ability to sense both heat and touch.

This study follows previous work by McKemy, in which he discovered a link between the sensation of cold and a protein known as TRPM8 (pronounced trip-em-ate). The TRPM8 protein is a sensor of cold in skin neurons, as well as a receptor for menthol, the cooling component of mint.

Read more: Cold Protein Turned Off In The Skin – Health News – redOrbit.

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