College freshmen have invented a way to make injections less painful. Pretty cool.

This is huge.

Injections. They are painful.

GIF via Giphy.


Ow.

They're especially painful for young children, the elderly, and more sensitive areas of anyone's body.

But what if they weren't?

They don't have to be ... anymore.

This is the needle of the future. Image via Rice University.

This new invention uses the technology found in cold packs to make ouchless shots a reality.

The needle of the future is going to be a whole LOT cooler. How? With a chemical reaction that works like a tiny, focused pain relief to numb your skin in the very specific spot that it needs numbing. Less pain!

GIFs via Rice University.

This science team, appropriately named Comfortably Numb, and comprised of young geniuses — computer science major Greg Allison, bioengineering major Andy Zhang, and mechanical engineering major Mike Hua at Rice University — wants to see it in the cap of every needle ever.

GIF via Rice University.

That's why this cold-pack needle matters. It's the fastest, cheapest way to create a new kind of injection that places a premium not just on administering medicine, but on reducing pain.

There is some disagreement in the field whether any kind of coolant is the most effective way of decreasing pain — but it is a cheaper, easier, and faster way that could make a difference now. Creams and other topical solutions are expensive and difficult, but combining ammonium nitrate and water in a convenient delivery system makes it way more accessible for way more people.

Cold-pack technology put to real, accessible use at only $2 a pop!

GIF via Rice University.

This could make a huge difference for hospital patients who already have to deal with a lot.

Imagine folks who are chronically ill and a lot of pain. Besides the emotional and physical toll that happens with long hospital stays, they have to get plenty of injections, pokes, and prods — all of which add up to a lot of daily discomfort. This small, little, frozen twisty-top needle cap would likely make their experience a little less painful.

Cool.

GIF via Giphy.

:)

For more on the chemical reactions and to hear from the freshmen geniuses themselves, I'll just leave the video right here:

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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