Medicinal

Blue M&Ms Used to Treat Spinal Injuries

The green ones make you horny; the blue ones heal your spinal injury? Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that Brilliant Blue G, the compound that makes M&Ms blue, also acts as an inhibitor to a chemical that kills healthy spinal-cord cells at the site of a spinal-cord injury. Through testing on rodents, researchers discovered that injured rats treated with Brillant Blue G, or BBG, were later able to walk, while rats that did not receive the compound remained paralyzed. Researchers came to use BBG because it can be administered intravenously, and "no one wants to put a needle into a spinal cord that has just been severely injured so we knew we needed another way," said Professor Maiken Nedergaard, who led the experiments. And though the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue, it seems like a very reasonable trade for regaining your ability to walk.