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Hot Discovery Helps ‘Cold’ Sufferers

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Imagine a world where it feels like 72 degrees outside even when the temperature is below 32.

University of Southern California researchers have discovered a neuron in mice that senses "normal cold responses in mammals."

Long story short, this could lead to a drug for humans who are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures.

Basically, the USC scientists shut down this neuron channel in the rodents, making them impervious to "cool and painfully cold temperatures."  The mice also weren't able to tell the difference between cold and warm temperatures.

At the moment, the procedure is irreversible but researchers hope to discover a drug that might temporarily provide relief for humans who are hypersensitive to the cold.

USC neurobiologist David McKenny says don't get too excited though because any breakthrough won't mean you can discard your overcoat.

He says humans need to feel the sting from the cold, which lets them know to get out of it.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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