And They’re Already in Pill Form!
News that the blue dye in M&Ms might assist with treating spinal injuries.
The story is written thus: injecting the blue dye into mice with spinal injuries seems to restore spinal functionals; further, the only side effect is that the mice tend to turn a bit…blue in color.
USA Today has an even worse write up, basically telling you that blue M&Ms can help protect your spine, in an unexpected way. Wrong.
The stories reference Coomassie Brilliant Blue G (BBG) is the miracle agent. BBG is a protein stain, not a commercial food dye, used in lab testing to test for certain types of proteins. Scientists have found that BBG can inhibit a purigenic receptor named P2X7 from activating with ATP. P2X7 exists in various places in your nervous system, and appears to work partially as a stop command for nervous signals. When your brain needs the body to do something (like walk), it sends the appropriate commands down the spine. When the brain says the result has been achieved (you have arrived), P2X7 is a molecule that activates to block ATP from transmitting down the spine…in other words, it stops the flow of information.
In a paralyzed person, P2X7 may be stuck. BBG can get in P2X7s way, so that ATP continues to transmit along the nerves. As a result, spinal nerves may begin receiving information again.
This is a far cry from how it is being reported: BBG prevents ATP from damaging motor neurons? BBG will restore spinal functions?
Incidentally, the lighter blue M&Ms are made up of a dye called Brilliant Blue FCF, or Blue Dye Number 1. This is similar to Coomassie Brilliant Blue G, but is not the same dye.
Further, this discovery may have no practical benefit for humans suffering with spinal cord injuries. Human clinical trials begin in September, although you cannot inject BBG directly into the blood of humans without serious effects. The delivery method is unknown, and the Czar does not expect this will, at its best, help more than a small handful of spinal injuries. Good news, yes, but not the miracle the press believes it to be.
Read the actual story here.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.