Imagine feeling no pain

Published on November 23rd, 2011
Imagine feeling no pain

Across the world a few hundred people suffer from a disease that makes them completely unable to feel pain from the time they’re born.

The reason is a culprit gene that encodes a protein that forms part of a channel. This channel allows electrically charged particles to cross the surface of nerve cells making it crucial for human pain perception.

The mutation stops the protein from working and this apparently prevents a certain type of nerve cell from passing on signals that tell the brain when something is painful.

Seems like a great ‘superpower’, doesn’t it? No toothaches, broken legs or splitting headaches. But doctors disagree. Pain is an important signal that warns people of injury, disease or danger.

Considering the possible superpower range, I think flying definitely sounds safer and more exciting!