Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new way of developing painkillers. The team of researchers used computational simulation to analyze interactions at opioid receptors – the cell’s docking sites for painkillers. When used in an animal model, their prototype of a morphine–like molecule was able to produce substantial pain relief in inflamed tissues. However, healthy tissues remained unaffected, suggesting that the severe side effects currently associated with these types of painkillers might be avoided. This research was published in the current issue of the journal Science.