To understand the origins of pain, ask a flatworm

Experiments in planarians identify a chemical middleman that triggers the body’s ouch detectors

Schmidtea mediterranea

DANGER DETECTOR  In planarians (Schmidtea mediterranea shown), a protein called TRPA1 detects hydrogen peroxide, a molecule produced when cells are damaged. These new results give hints about the evolution of human pain.

Chris Petersen/Northwestern University

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