Also, whether he envisions any pharmaceutical cures for itch appearing soon. Martin Steinhoff scribbled a list of possible targets in the itch pathway that one might like to shut down to reduce or eliminate itch. Here's what he wrote down, before I distracted him with another question:
The scientists were able to do their experiments because they had developed a strain of mice without GRP receptors. These mice were much less likely to scratch themselves when their skin was injected with substances known to induce itch. And in normal mice, a compound that inhibits GRP receptors greatly reduced scratching behavior.
This isn't exactly breaking news, but it is good for me to know as I explore "itch centers" in the US and around the world.
* * *A wee bit of business news: a small company in Seattle, recently acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is developing an anti-IL-31 antibody which is now in preclinical trials for atopic dermatitis. (Now, what does IL-31 do? I always get confused by these IL-X things. It is apparently produced by Th2 cells and has something to do with inflammation.