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New research shows that insects feel . The researchers say it isn't the kind of pain that feel. The pain that insects feel is a that is like pain. The research was conducted at the University of Sydney in Australia. Professor Greg Neely, co-author of the report, said: "People don't really think of as feeling any kind of pain, but it's already been shown in lots of invertebrate animals that they can sense and avoid [things] that we [think of] as painful." He added: "We knew that insects could sense 'pain' but what we didn't know is that an could lead to long-lasting a similar way to human patients' ."

The researchers looked at how fruit flies reacted to injuries. The scientists damaged one on fruit flies and allowed the leg to heal. They found that after the leg healed, the flies became more and tried harder to protect their . Professor Neely said the pain the flies felt stayed in their and this changed their behaviour. He said: "After the [insect] is hurt once , they are hypersensitive and try to protect themselves for the rest of their ." Neely says he hopes to carry out more to better understand how humans feel pain. He said: "We are focused on making new stem cell or drugs that target the underlying cause and stop pain for ."

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