Electroacupuncture: Promising pain therapy or quackery?

electro

One idea [for alternative pain relief] is to specifically stimulate nerves that act as highway carriers of pain signals and block those signals like a DDoS attack—using some sort of sharp neural interface. If the brain can’t process pain signals coming in, then you don’t consciously feel any pain.

Sound familiar?

This month, a team from Harvard Medical School, Baylor College of Medicine, and China united East with West took another look at a revamped form of acupuncture—electroacupuncture, which hits the same acupoints as the practice has for centuries, but with mild electrical pulses.

In mice given life-threatening injections of an immune-stimulating chemical called lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the team found that electroacupunture could lower the amount of pro-inflammatory chemicals and double the mice’s survival rate—but only if the mice were first zapped with electricity.

Related article:  Coronavirus might push us towards a more automated society
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

In a way, electroacupuncture is a sort of bridge between the old and new: it brings acupuncture and its theories, rooted in thousands of years of history, into the future. An electro-acupuncture needle is in one view a minimally-invasive neural interface that only pierces the top of the skin. And yet, guided by ancient acupunctural maps, it manages to interface with our nerves to reduce inflammation and pain—at least for two points, and in mice.

Do I still roll my eyes at acupuncture? To be honest, yeah. But I’m willing to give it another look.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend