ITPP Boosts Blood Oxygen Like Star Trek Triox

ITPP (myo-inositol trispyrophosphate) is a special drug designed to boost hemoglobin in the bloodstream; it makes hemoglobin release more of its oxygen than normal. When given by direct injection to mice with damaged hearts in a recent experiment, it turned these couch potato mice into treadmill lovers - exercise levels rose 60%.

According to Jean-Marie Lehn of the University of Strasbourg in France, hemoglobin only releases about 25% of its oxygen during one trip through the body. But when ITPP binds to hemoglobin, it releases 35% more than usual.

Star Trek fans may recall that in the classic Trek episode Amok Time, Captain Kirk is forced to fight Spock to the death. At one point during the fight, Dr. McCoy rushes into the fray to give Kirk an injection of a drug called "Triox" claiming that it would improve Kirk's ability to absorb oxygen in the thinner air of that planet, thus evening the odds in the fight.

(Dr. McCoy injects Kirk in Amok Time)

As it turns out, McCoy had cleverly substituted a "neural paralyzer" that made Kirk appear dead. Spock was declared the winner; Kirk beats the no-win scenario once again.

From New Scientist. Thanks to Icecycle for contributing this item.

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