Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a new sensory organ that is able to detect painful mechanical damage, such as pricks and impacts. The discovery is being published in the journal ‘Science’.
Pain causes suffering and results in substantial costs for society. Almost one person in every five experiences constant pain and there is a considerable need to find new painkilling drugs. However, sensitivity to pain is also required for survival and it has a protective function. It prompts reflex reactions that prevent damage to tissue, such as pulling your hand away when you feel a jab from a sharp object or when you burn yourself…
“Our study shows that sensitivity to pain does not occur only in the skin’s nerve fibres, but also in this recently-discovered pain-sensitive organ. The discovery changes our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of physical sensation and it may be of significance in the understanding of chronic pain,” says Patrik Ernfors, professor at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics and chief investigator for the study.
Paper. paywall – Abdo H, Calvo-Enrique L, Martinez Lopez J, Song J, Zhang MD, Usoskin D, El Manira A, Adameyko I, Hjerling-Leffler J, Ernfors P. Specialized cutaneous Schwann cells initiate pain sensation. Science, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/science.aax6452 More.
From the Institute:
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now discovered a new sensory receptor organ in the skin that is sensitive to hazardous environmental irritation. It is comprised of glia cells with multiple long protrusions and which collectively go to make up a mesh-like organ within the skin. This organ is sensitive to painful mechanical damage such as pricks and pressure.“New pain organ discovered in the skin” at Karolinska Institutet
Assuming this holds up: Everywhere we look, more systems, more organization, and it all just sort of happened by magic, oops, Darwinism.
One wonders, at what point will the inability to distinguish between Darwinism and magic lead to some sort of re-evaluation of the origin of complex specified information in life forms?