Mice blue about walking again.

It appears that science has found a use for blue M&Ms, well the dye used to color them any way. CNN reports that:

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.

The only side effect was that the treated mice temporarily turned blue.

Apparently when you injure your spinal cord a deluge of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) flood the spinal cord. According to Wikipedia:

Adenosine triphosphateis a multifunctional nucleotide, and plays an important role in cell biology as a coenzyme that is the “molecular unit of currency” of intracellular energy transfer.

This ATP promptly kills off even healthy cells which makes things even worse for the injured party. Now there’s also this “Death Receptor” (P2X7) which allows the ATP to attach to motor neurons which effectively send out a kill signal which destroys those neurons.

The Brilliant Blue G (BBG) compound inhibits the Death Receptor from aiding the ATP in the destruction of those healthy cells and neurons.

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