New research suggests that tarantula venom and capsaicin, the stuff that makes hot peppers hot, both fire up the same pain receptor on nerve cells. The particular cell-surface receptor is triggered by chemicals and also temperature. The research, conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, and published in the scientific journal Nature, could someday inform the development of better pain killers. Meanwhile, I expect to see a new brand of Spider Venom Hot Sauce in a matter of moments. From Science News:
(Molecular biologist David) Julius notes that because triggering the receptor produces such strong pain sensations, it's not surprising that organisms as distantly related as pepper plants and tarantulas use the same defensive mechanism.
"Different organisms have figured out how to tap this site as a way of telling predators, 'You won't be comfortable if you mess with me,'" he says.
to Science News article, Link
to buy Mark F's article "The Cult of Capsaicin" at the Boing Boing Digital Emporium (just 50 cents!)
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
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Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]