That’s the spot!

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That’s the spot: How scratching brings relief

By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO, Apr. 6, 2009 (Reuters) — Scratching an itchy spot turns off an itch “switch” in the spinal cord, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a finding they think could lead to better treatments for itching disorders.
Tests on monkeys showed that scratching short-circuits itch signals to the brain.
Understanding how this works may lead to new treatments for people with diseases such as AIDS or Hodgkin’s disease that cause itching not easily relieved by antihistamines or steroid creams.

Try This! Your Body in Your Mind’s Eye

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by Karen E. Kalumuck

Can you take a sip of water from a cup with your eyes closed? Will you spill the water all over yourself? Of course not! For most of us, this is a routine task that we don’t even have to think about. But how can you do this? Without vision, you can’t see the cup, or your hand propelling the water to your mouth, yet you don’t usually pour the water down your shirt or in your ears. Try this simple experiment to learn more about how you form mental images of your body’s position in space, independent of vision.

Did you know? The eyes have it

Did you know?

  • An ostrich’s eye is larger than its brain.
  • A goat’s pupil is rectangular.
  • A chameleon can move each eye independently.