'Painkiller' Gene Turned Off in Mice  
12/18/2007 11:58:29 PM

We experience chilli peppers as hot because they activate an enzyme called c-Kit. It now seems that getting rid of c-Kit increases pain tolerance in mice, while stimulating it lowers the level at which heat becomes painful. This could lead to the development of a new class of painkillers that work by blocking the enzyme.