Holy mole-rat! Ugly critters could help fight pain

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Holy mole-rat! Ugly critters could help fight pain

They get a bad rap, but a new study shows they're impervious to certain types of pain

Journalist

They may look like a Lovecraftian bastard child of a pig and a hamster, but the African mole-rat’s seeming imperviousness to pain could one day help humans manage their own.

The University of Pretoria (UP) recently released the findings of its study into these toothy critters, claiming that three of its scientists’ research could hold the key to improving pain management in humans.

The research team was led by Prof Gary Lewin, group leader of the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin, Germany; US neuroscientist Prof Thom Park; and Pretoria University zoologist Prof Nigel Bennett, supported by UP colleagues Dr Heike Lutermann and Daniel Hart...

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