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23andMe launches at-home study to measure pain tolerance

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The genetic testing company 23andMe has a new study on the genetic links to pain tolerance, which involves two surveys on pain tolerance and history, and an at-home experiment, per MIT's Technology Review.

The experiment: In addition to answering questions about their pain tolerance and history, participants are asked to perform a cold pressor test (a common pain tolerance test), which involves keeping their hands in ice water for up to 3 minutes. Instead of meeting in a lab for the experiment, participants will test themselves from home — the company's first attempt at in-home research and one they hope will gather data from 20,000 participants.

The goal: To "understand genetic factors associated with experiencing pain and response to medications that help alleviate pain," Carrie Northover, 23andMe's director of research services, told Tech Review. The company hopes to find ways of personalizing pain management and medication according to how people process pain.