What we Don’t Yet Know about Pain

Pain evolved as a necessary evil. It tells us when we’ve done something damaging, or are on the brink of causing more serious harm. It’s tempting to wish away pain after stubbing your toe or burning your hand, but life without pain is far from pleasant. People born with very rare genetic conditions giving complete insensitivity to pain end up spending most of their lives in hospital for injuries they simply didn’t know they were getting. They must actively learn and constantly be thinking about what things are “bad” to touch, such as knives or boiling water, because they will never feel the warning signs of a light prick or rising warmth….

This the first paragraph of an article I wrote for Things We Don’t Know, a site dedicated to exploring the boundaries of our scientific knowledge. Check it out in full by clicking the link below:

http://blog.thingswedontknow.com/2014/03/nociception-things-we-dont-know-about.html 

I hope you find it interesting.

Image credit: Hobbes vs Boyle

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