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Brilliant blue for the spine

Study in rats suggests a dye similar to that found in popsicles and sports drinks may prevent cell death after a spinal cord injury

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6:41pm, July 27, 2009

A blue dye found in Gatorade and Rocket Pops could play a protective role in the cellular mayhem that follows spinal cord injury. In rats, a close chemical cousin of the common food dye FD&C Blue No.1 appears to block a molecule that floods the injury site and kills nerve cells, a team reports in the July 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rats dosed with the dye — known as brilliant blue G — after injury showed greater improvement in motor skills than rats not receiving the dye. And assuming the food colorant’s low toxicity holds true for brilliant blue, the research

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