Naked mole rats' indifference to acid might help relieve human pain

We've long touted the awesomeness of the cancer-free, ultra-long-lived, acid-resistant naked mole rats, and we even suggested that they'll inherit the Earth from us. But while we're still around, let's see if we can't benefit from these remarkable rodents.


That's the idea discussed in this informative video from the University of Illinois Chicago, where researchers are attempt to unlock the secrets of naked mole rats' complete indifference to pain. In particular, naked mole rats live in tightly packed underground colonies, in which the carbon dioxide levels get high enough to be dangerously acidic to pretty much any other mammals. Naked mole rats just shrug off such discomfort, and figuring out why could provide new ways for humans to manage their own pain, including relief for chronic pain.

The researchers' entire paper is available free over at PLoS ONE. For more on the naked mole rat's remarkable acid resistance, check out our previous coverage of this story here.




It really is amazing how they can just shrug pain off like that.