Pain gene found in flies, mice and people may have links to creativity

November 12, 2010

A newly discovered gene which helps to control the sense of pain is linked to synaesthesia, when sensations such as touch also affect other senses like hearing or sight. The rare condition causes some people to see sounds or written words as colours, or experience tastes, smells and shapes in linked combinations. Famous synaesthetes include composers Franz Liszt or Olivier Messiaens, and this condition has been linked to creativity and intelligence.
The paper „A genome-wide Drosophila screen for heat nociception identifies ?2?3 as an evolutionary conserved pain gene” (Neely et al.) by Josef Penninger and Greg Neely, together with Clifford Woolf of Harvard Medical School, Boston, will be published in Cell on November 12, 2010.

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