The berth of cool

This image is derived from a technique called cryo-electron microscopy, and shows for the first time the intricate structure of the primary cold-sensing protein found in humans and other animals: an ion channel called TRPM8, located in nerve cells.

In this instance, the channel is interacting with menthol – a compound that induces a cooling feeling when applied to aching muscles.

The details of the architecture of TRPM8 are revealed, courtesy of a research team led by Seok-Yong Lee of the Duke University School of Medicine in the US, in the journal Science.

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