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Studies suggest recheck our previous notions on how fast we perceive pain.

Until now, the scientific consensus has been that in humans, the nerve signals that "communicate" touch to the brain are faster than those that relay pain. New research overturns the widespread notion that humans, unlike other mammals, process pain more slowly than touch. The findings may have significant implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain. "The ability to feel pain is vital to our survival, so why should our pain-signaling system be so much slower than the system used for touch and so much slower than it could be?" explains Saad Nagi, a principal research engineer in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine," The study revealed that 12% of the neurons with a thick myelin coat had the same properties as nociceptors, in that they could detect and convey "noxious stimuli," such as coarse brush stroking or pinching. Nagi's team hypothesized that losing myelinated nerve fibers would also affect the newly discovered superfast network of nociceptors. The researchers found that these individuals could not experience mechanical pain. The findings, explain the scientists, may help doctors diagnose pain-related conditions and provide better care for people who experience this symptom.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

How evolution affected fatty nature in humans?

Modern eating habits and a lack of exercise have contributed to the obesity "epidemic," but new research highlights the role that evolution played in the increasing formation of human body fat. Scientists have compared fat samples from humans and other primates and found that changes in DNA packaging affected how the human body processes fat. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. They store excess energy from the food we eat. During digestion, our bodies break these down and transfer them to the cells via the bloodstream. Our bodies use some of this fat as energy and store the rest inside the cells. Fat metabolism is key to human survival, and any imbalances in the process can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The researchers — who Swain-Lenz and Duke biologist Greg Wray led — compared fat samples from humans, chimps, and other primates using a technique called ATAC-seq. This analyzes how fat cell DNA is packaged in the bodies of different species. The findings revealed that humans have anywhere from 14% to 31% body fat, while other primates have less than 9%. Also, DNA regions in humans are more condensed, thereby limiting accessibility to the genes involved in fat metabolism. The results of this new study also revealed that one of the reasons humans carry more fat is because the DNA regions that should help convert white fat into brown fat are compressed and do not allow this transformation to take place.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)