Why we shiver in the cold

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by S.A.M., Dec 20, 2007.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    We have specialised cold-sensing neurons with a single protein called TRPM8.

    These cold sensing neurons are hypothesised to be of two types: (i) those sensing the cool sensation and (ii) those sensing pain related to cold (e.g. frostbite)

    Scientists at the University of Southern California engineered mice so that neuron fibres that expressed this protein (TRPM8) would be fluorescent green.

    They found that both types of cold sensing neurons (i and ii) expressed the same protein. So apparently both types of neurons express the same protein but have different functions.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Why_we_shiver_when_its_cold/articleshow/2635721.cms
     
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  3. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    So when someone has hypothermia is there a reduction or cessation in the function of these neurons? Are these neurons similar or the same as those that detect heat? That is, does TRPM8 react to all temperatures or just "cold" temperatures?
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I think cold-sensing neurons sort of covers that

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    Hmm dunno about heat sensing neurons.
     
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  7. ric0h Registered Member

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    Wow, now mices can be used for lighting the outside home.
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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  9. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    Hah. Got it. I'll admit that I have a limited knowledge of biology. Well, everything really, but I'm working on that! Interesting article though.
     
  10. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    How come people came up with the idea that sensing cold and sensing pain are two different things in the first place?
     
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I recently saw a TV documentary about Tibeten monks that were able to be

    in a very cold room and had very cold towels put on them but after awhile

    they all had those towels steaming somehow from a deep meditation they

    were taught. The mind is a very powerful thing and this was something that

    shows just how powerful it is. I'm sorry I can't find any links about this but

    perhaps one of you that read this could, thanks. BTW the monks were

    naked except for the towels and there wasn't any visible form of fire or heat

    anywhere inside the primitive hut they were gathered in.
     

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