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Thursday, December 14, 2006

No pain_ no gain

The SCN9A syndrome

A news report states the tragic death of a Pakistani child ‘who earned a living by stabbing himself with knives as a street performer.’ The report further states that the deceased child and some other members of his family never felt pain out of an injury. Scientists have revealed that absence of the feeling of pain is on account of a single mutation in a gene called SCN9A, which is a sort of switch in nerve cells that respond to pain.
If observed carefully, we shall see that mutation if the gene SCN9A can be traced in the biological system if the whole nation. Last year, the terrible earthquake jolted distant areas across the country and left thousands homeless but they survived thunderstorm and gushing winds, and we felt nothing. Recently, the Dengue fever tolled the bell for some and despite the non-availability of vaccine we shall live through it. The Bajaur incident killed many innocent but we felt nothing more than the prick of a needle. Such is our immune system.
On the other hand, it is rather unfortunate that mutation of SCN9A is also found in the governmental body. Consequently, the Patient in Uniform cannot feel the pain that the patient clad in rags is going through. If we, as a nation, start feeling this pain it would be a blessing in disguise. In my view, ‘no pain_ no gain.’