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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: