Even Gentle Touch Is Healing

The sense of touch is one of our most ancient, and also one we can least survive without. It’s vital for survival. The ability to sense gentle touch develops early in the womb and provides comfort even before birth. Yet until now the mechanisms involved have remained a mystery. By gently stroking soft skin with a freshly plucked eyelash, scientists have now discovered the type of nerve cells involved, and the protein messenger they produce to transmit the sensation of the barest touch to the brain. Quite where this research will lead is unclear, but perhaps one day it will allow science to restore feeling to numb areas.

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