August 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 14)


Strong Points: User-friendly navigation, clear organization
Weak Points: None


Pain. It certainly doesn’t inspire words of gratitude after you stub your toe or burn your finger on the stove, but of course we would be in a much worse state if we didn’t have the ability to feel pain at all. Still, there are instances when “good pain goes bad” (maladaptive pain such as cancer pain or neuropathic pain), and scientists are looking to explain the cause.  The Pain Genes Database is a very snazzy website where one can learn about some of the genes responsible for pain sensation.  The site features a collection of gene knock-out studies with pain phenotypes culled from the PubMed database. Easy-to-interpret icons indicate whether the mutant is more sensitive or less sensitive than the wild type in the categories of nociception, hypersensitivity, and analgesia. This site offers a very user-friendly interface…You might say that it’s painless!

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