Tarantula toxins offer key insights into neuroscience of pain

When your dentist injects lidocaine into your gums, the drug blocks the pain of the oncoming drill, but it also blocks all other sensation – leaving your mouth feeling numb and swollen. What if there were a drug that could ...

The origins of polarized nervous systems

(Phys.org)—There is no mistaking the first action potential you ever fired. It was the one that blocked all the other sperm from stealing your egg. After that, your spikes only got more interesting. Waves of calcium flooding ...

Putting the fire out with light

Chili peppers contain an activator of heat-sensitive pain receptors. An LMU team has now converted an antagonist to the compound into a light-sensitive regulator of such receptors that can differentially modulate the effects ...

Research finds new channels to trigger mobile malware

(Phys.org) —Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have uncovered new hard-to-detect methods that criminals may use to trigger mobile device malware that could eventually lead to targeted attacks launched ...

Seeing without eyes: Hydra stinging cells respond to light

In the absence of eyes, the fresh water polyp, Hydra magnipapillata, nevertheless reacts to light. They are diurnal, hunting during the day, and are known to move, looping end over end, or contract, in response to light. ...

The first gene-encoded amphibian toxin isolated

Researchers in China have discovered the first protein-based toxin in an amphibian -a 60 amino acid neurotoxin found in the skin of a Chinese tree frog. This finding may help shed more light into both the evolution of amphibians ...