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12:00 AM
Dec 11, 2006
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

A new pain killer

It may be hard to believe that an endogenous painkiller more potent than morphine could go undiscovered, but it's true, according to a recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In preclinical testing, opiorphan, a newly discovered short neuropeptide, was more potent than morphine and did not cause the same GI side effects. Opiorphan also may have potential applications in depression and anxiety.

The five-amino-acid peptide is expressed at very low levels in only certain areas of the brain. "It's not easy to isolate such a...

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