Human Exceptionalism

Not The Onion: Blue Food Dye Helps Treat Spinal Cord Injury in Mice

This is the same kind of injury, successfully treated in mice, that gained Geron an FDA license to use potentially dangerous embryonic stem cells to treat spinal cord injury in human trials. Only these scientists apparently got a similar result as Geron did using blue food dye!  From the story:

The same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries, offering a better chance of recovery, according to new research. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rodents were able to walk again, albeit with a limp.

Like Geron’s treated mice, the treatment must be begun quickly after injury to be effective. Unlike enbryonic stem cell research, treated animals apparently have no danger from tumor growth. Also, unlike Geron’s stem cell treated mice, the dye-treated rhodents turned blue.