It was recently reported in a journal called Nature that scientists have made a tremendous discovery in a species of fruit flies.
While this might not seem a momentous piece of information, for the average person living with chronic pain it could be just that. It was found that a protein existing in both humans and flies can be produced is different variations by the flying species in order to serve different purposes.
For flies the protein, known as TRPA1, is used to sense heat in the first variation, and used to recognize toxic chemicals in the second. The same protein is produced in humans, but is used for a different purpose all together. In people, TRPA1 is a protein used by the body to control pain and inflammation.
While this discovery will first be used in the field of biology for creating methods of keep pesky, disease carrying insects away from their intended human targets and attracting them, instead, to traps, the more that is learned about the protein, the more hope there is for pain sufferers.
Scientists believe that the right use of the version one of the TRPA1 protein could make insects believe that humans are toxic, thereby keeping them at bay, while the second variation could be used to entice them into traps.
As for the pain sufferers, there are a lot of questions left to be answered, but the similarities between mankind and the tiny winged animal could mean quicker, cost-effective, and meaningful solutions to questions that millions seek answers to. At Interventional Pain Associates, we continue to stay “in the know” regarding the latest medical research and technological advancements so we can care for our patients with the best treatments available for their chronic pain conditions at our clinic.
You can read more about the research on fruit flies and the pertinent findings here.