Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The blue ones taste better

For anyone who ever claimed they could taste the different colored M&M's, maybe there's some truth to it. Okay, so maybe it isn't about taste, but the blue ones can help heal injuries to the spine.

There I go again - it isn't the M&M, it is the blue dye - and why, by the way, did they think that blue dye would help in spinal injuries? Oh, here's how:

"Back in 2004, Nedergaard's team discovered that the spinal cord was rich in a molecule called P2X7, which is also known as "the death receptor" for its ability to allow ATP to latch onto motor neurons and send the signals which eventually kill them."

Oh, death receptor doesn't sound good...

"Nedergaard knew that BBG could thwart the function of P2X7, and its similarity to a blue food dye approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 gave her the confidence to test it intravenously."

Neato! So, it seems the only bad side effect so far is that it turns the mice blue for a short period of time - do you think this'll become a new recreational drug, something to bring out at parties?

Oh yeah, and thanks to the close evolutionary relationship between humans and mice (as compared to humans and, say, fishes, or toads), we can be reasonably sure that since there were no negative side effects in the mice (other than turning into Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a few days), we can move ahead with the assumption that the drug is safe enough to continue into human trials. Yay evolution!

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