Fifteen minutes after [a] rat was paralyzed, researchers injected the rodent with Brilliant Blue G dye, a derivative of common food coloring Blue Number One. The dye reduced inflammation of the spinal cord, which allowed the rats to take clumsy steps—but not walk—within weeks, a new study says.How blue is blue? Check it out:
That lack of side effects may also help make the blue dye a boon to paralyzed humans down the road. "The beauty of it is that it wouldn't harm you," Nedergaard said—unlike previous compounds used to treat spinal cord injuries, which had toxic effects.
Kind of looks like a furry Smurf. Do they come in any other colors? You could probably put together a pretty festive-looking menage à rat.