M&Ms turn mouse blueScientists have known for years that injecting oxidized ATP into the spinal cord immediately after an injury prevents ATP, chemicals that fuel our cells, from flooding and killing surrounding healthy cells. But doctors are reluctant to put a needle into a spinal cord that has just been severely injured and oxidized ATP can’t be injected into the bloodstream because of its dangerous side effects.

However, a new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that intravenous administration of Brilliant Blue G (BBG), a chemical structurally and functionally equivalent to the blue dye used in M&M’s, “significantly reduced the severity of spinal cord damage without any evident toxicity.” The only side effect was it temporarily turned the test subjects blue.