We live in the age of “go-bags”, survival kits kept at the ready to combat just about any worst-case scenario emergencies one might be able to imagine. They’re packed with multi-tools, flashlights, Tamiflu--you name it.
Prepare to make room for a new pill that might be able to directly counteract the effects of (knock on wood) nuclear fallout.
The new drug, which compromises a handful of different compounds, is basically packed with synthetic versions of potent antioxidants. The antioxidants would help protect against damage caused by free radicals, the atoms, ions and molecules with unpaired electrons that build up in cells after extensive radiation exposure, causing tissue injury, and cell death in the months and years after exposure. The antioxidants help protect several body systems such as the kidneys, lungs, skin, intestines, and the brain from damage. Many previous attempts to find a treatment for radiation poisoning either focused on specific parts of the body, like bone marrow, or were primarily to treat the resulting symptoms of exposure and not the cause.
Antioxidants have been studied before to try and treat radiation exposure, but it could only be applied via injections. Once made into a pill, the ability to distribute and administer the treatment becomes significantly easier and more effective. And because antioxidants have other health benefits, they could potentially be used to treat a wide range of neurological, pulmonary, and cardiovascular disorders.
That means you might one day find EUK-400 pills not just in your emergency go-bags but also your medicine cabinet.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.