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Pain Insensitivity in Mole-Rats, and How It Could Help Us

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Naked mole-rats are weird. Native to East Africa, they live underground in highly ordered and hierarchical colonies with a single breeding queen, more like ants or termites than mammals.

Some of their most striking physiological adaptations include an extraordinarily long lifespan (30+ years), apparent resistance to cancer, and resistance to extremely low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide.

But it turns out naked mole-rats are not completely alone; they come from a family of weirdos. In a recent review paper, Gary Lewin of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Thomas Park of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ewan St.

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