Forget witch doctors - here’s an itch doctor!
Zhou-Feng Chen is the head of Wash U’s Center for the Study of Itch - a research center dedicated solely to the study of itching. Why is itching even worthy of study? According to one study, 17% of adults may suffer from chronic itch, for which there are a variety of causes. Chen’s lab has discovered that not only are pain and itch different sensations, but that all itch sensations pass through a dedicated subset of neurons in the spinal cord. Above is a slice of a mouse spinal cord, with the itch neurons stained blue. Now that’s some research that’s up to scratch!