red ants coming out of dirt hole
Bull Ant Venom Evolved to Make Bites More Painful to Mammals
A peptide found in bull ant venom closely resembles a hormone of its primary predator, triggering hypersensitivity and making subsequent bites even more painful than the ones that came before.
Bull Ant Venom Evolved to Make Bites More Painful to Mammals
Bull Ant Venom Evolved to Make Bites More Painful to Mammals

A peptide found in bull ant venom closely resembles a hormone of its primary predator, triggering hypersensitivity and making subsequent bites even more painful than the ones that came before.

A peptide found in bull ant venom closely resembles a hormone of its primary predator, triggering hypersensitivity and making subsequent bites even more painful than the ones that came before.

chronic pain
Illustration of peach-colored microglia among light blue neurons. Both cell types are illustrated with multiple jagged extensions coming out of a spherical cell body.
Mouse Immune Cells Destroy Nerves’ Coating, Causing Chronic Pain
Patience Asanga | Jun 9, 2022

A study suggests a way in which acute nerve injury could trigger an autoimmune response that leads to continuing pain in mice.

Grey and white stones on a wooden plank
Eight Weeks of Meditation Doesn’t Change the Brain, Study Finds
Natalia Mesa | May 20, 2022
Study finds that, contrary to what other research has found, a popular meditation course does not appear to alter brain structure.
untitled-design
From Bench to Boardroom
Aparna Nathan
Taking inspiration from her PhD research, Ana Moreno formed a company where scientists use CRISPR to treat chronic pain
Giannina Descalzi
Giannina Descalzi Studies the Factors Underlying Chronic Pain
Natalia Mesa | May 16, 2022
The University of Guelph neuroscientist is scoping out the brain regions and genes that change as a consequence of pain that lasts for months or even years.
Senior woman wearing a grey pullover sitting on a bed and holding her back.
Early Inflammation Protects Against Chronic Pain, Study Finds
Alejandra Manjarrez | May 12, 2022
Human data and experiments in mice challenge the common use of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain.
headshot man
Ophthamologist Alan Scott Dies at Age 89
Chloe Tenn | Dec 29, 2021
The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute scientist developed Botox for medicinal use.
Rounded red and green fluorescent cells are visible on a light and dark gray background
Neurons Firing Together Generate Spontaneous Pain
Abby Olena | Nov 10, 2021
Abnormal sympathetic neuron growth leads to simultaneous activation of clusters of sensory neurons, causing the difficult-to-treat sensation.
morphine drip
Morphine Tolerance Pathway Identified in Mice
David Adam | Sep 20, 2021
Prolonged exposure to morphine triggers cells in the spine to release signaling molecules that increase pain sensitivity and dull the relief of the drug. Blocking this activity could improve pain management.
two doctors looking at a medical monitor showing electrodes being inserted near a person's spinal cord
Low Frequency Electric Stimulation Can Treat Back Pain: Study
Emma Yasinski | Sep 2, 2021
Patients in a small trial said their chronic pain improved an average of 90 percent over the course of 15 days, but returned shortly after the electrical stimulation sessions ended.
a pink and purple micrograph of a longitudinal section of human spinal ganglion cells
Mouse Study Suggests Fibromyalgia Has Autoimmune Roots
Annie Melchor | Jul 2, 2021
When researchers injected mice with antibodies from fibromyalgia patients, the animals developed symptoms of the disease—suggesting that it may be controlled by the immune system, not the nervous system.
Pain Researcher Quits Academia, Takes Lab Home with Him
Jef Akst | May 1, 2021
After resigning from the University of New England last year, Geoffrey Bove continues to study the effects of massage on rats in a facility he set up in his house.
mitochondrial transfer mitochondria inflammation pain
Macrophages in Mice Shuttle Mitochondria to Neurons in Need
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 5, 2020
The findings could represent a novel mechanism for relieving inflammatory pain.
mouse foot 28 days post chikungunya infection
Image of the Day: Viral Residue
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 30, 2019
Genetic material from the chikungunya virus remains in mouse cells after infection and may be linked to later joint pain.
schwann cells
Special Schwann Cells in Mice Play Unsung Role in Pain
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 16, 2019
The glia seem to make up part of a newly described sensory organ, the discoverers suggest.
Men React to Repeated Painful Experiences Differently than Women Do
Diana Kwon | Jan 14, 2019
Men’s pain tolerance decreases when exposed to a setting where they’ve previously had a painful experience.
Synthetic Botox Treats Chronic Pain in Mice
Abby Olena | Jul 18, 2018
Researchers silence pain neurons in the mouse spinal cord with injections of botulinum toxins modified to bind to the neurons’ receptors.
Contributors
Jef Akst and Katarina Zimmer | Jan 1, 2018
Meet some of the people featured in the January 2018 issue of The Scientist.
Prizes and Penalties
Bob Grant | Jan 1, 2018
Life is filled with pleasure and pain. Science and society are struggling mightily with both.
Targeting Sodium Channels for Pain Relief
Catherine Offord | Jan 1, 2018
The race to develop analgesic drugs that inhibit sodium channel NaV1.7 is revealing a complex sensory role for the protein.