A single taste is enough to make you unforgettably familiar with the effects of wasabi, but why does it happen? The reason is this protein right here — and it has some major implications for how we treat pain.
As far as invertebrates go, you don't get much smarter than the members of the mollusk phylum, which includes octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid. But mollusks apparently didn't think through their evolutionary path very well, developing brains four times over.
Injuries to parts of the nervous system — the spinal cord, for example — are among the most devastating that human beings can sustain. But the recent discovery of a new class of spinal cord cell could soon lead to novel therapies capable of regenerating parts of the central nervous system.
It's easy to think of old age as a uniquely human phenomenon, and there's a certain amount of truth to that - most species die before they can experience the physical or mental deterioration often associated with growing older.