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.
Link to Science News article, Link to buy Mark F's article "The Cult of Capsaicin" at the Boing Boing Digital Emporium (just 50 cents!)
Graham Clark, the 17-year-old Florida boy accused of pulling off the big Twitter hack, pled not guilty to charges on Tuesday. During the security breach, top accounts including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk were taken over to push a bitcoin scam.
In this footage, a supercomputer’s CPU cores — nearly 900 of them — are neatly lined up in the Task Manager. The Doom logo appears, generated by code that targets each core. Then Doom itself plays, each “pixel” generated by thrashing a core with just the right amount of busy work. Max Holt: Finally got […]
The UK government today ordered domestic companies to stop buying equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei and to stop using its kit entirely by 2027. Huawei is suspected to be an arm of the Chinese government, breaking into western markets (and maybe its networks) by selling impossibly cheap equipment. The UK only recently approved more Huawei […]
If you’re a photographer, videographer, or graphic designer, you’ve got a lot of competition charging up behind you. Because while you’ve been trained as a content creator, the task of snapping brilliant images, capturing well-composed video, and posting effective social media is now part of literally everyone’s skill set. For years, Adobe and their ubiquitous […]
After years of hearing a steady drumbeat about the necessity of surfing the web under the protection of a VPN, even the most technophobic among us are starting to come around. But even knowing the dangers one can face from cybercrooks phishing for information from unsuspecting victims online, those last holdouts still have some fears. […]
You may not realize it, but some of the biggest films in movie history have been edited using the same tools some of you use to cut your video of vacationing at Disney World. Giant movies from Oscar favorites The Social Network and Gone Girl to blockbusters like Avatar, Deadpool, and last year’s Terminator: Dark […]