Last June, a creation known as hitchBOT
successfully hitch-hiked its way across Canada. It has since also
traversed Germany. This July, its team decided to see how it would make
out in the US. Well, it lasted just over two weeks, until it was found destroyed in Philadelphia late last week.
As it stands, there's not a whole lot we know about pain. Where a tissue or blood sample can be drawn and studied, our nervous system comprising different kinds of cells running signals through complex piping around the body presents a difficult task for scientific research. But a new study details a technique that turns blood cells into different nerve cells, promising to improve our understanding of why things itch or burn. By extension, it is hoped that it could lead to new forms of pain relief that do away with unwanted side effects such as sleepiness or loss of concentration.