Tala Ko

Paralyzed rats move again after injection of blue dye

Posted on: Tuesday, 28 July 2009

I can’t help but think of Hank McCoy (Beast) from the X-Men.
clipped from news.nationalgeographic.com

PHOTOS: Blue Rats Move Again After Food-Dye Injection

July 27, 2009–Fifteen minutes after researchers intentionally paralyzed this rat by dropping a weight on its back, they injected the rodent with Brilliant Blue G dye, a derivative of common food coloring Blue Number One. The dye reduced inflammation of the spinal cord, which allowed the rats to take clumsy steps—but not walk—within weeks, a new study says.

In both rats and people, secondary inflammation following spinal cord trauma causes more lasting damage than the initial injury: Swelling sparks a small “stroke,” which stops blood flow and eventually kills off the surrounding tissue.

Other than blue skin and eyes, “we can find no clinical effect on the rat,” said Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.
lack of side effects may also help make the blue dye a boon to paralyzed humans
unlike previous compounds used to treat spinal cord injuries, which had toxic effects.
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