Patients may complain of hurting down to the bone, but researchers are finding that in fact pain can go clear down to the molecule. Specialists offer 18 papers from a conference in Boston in October 1996 on recent research and its implications for treatment. They cover development aspects of sensory neurons, the neurobiology of inflammation, nerve injury, receptor and ion channels involved in transmitting pain, and projections for future developments. Among specific topics are afferent pain neurons such as altered spinal connections and changes in transmitter and receptor complement, growth-factor contributions to inflammation, and cloning genes for opioid receptors and sodium channels. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.