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The gas that gives millions of schoolchildren with hours of fun and gives stink bombs their disgusting odor might quickly present medical doctors with new treatments for situations ranging from strokes to continual arthritis.Some researchers are even making an attempt to use hydrogen sulphide - the source of rotten eggs' disagreeable odour - to place sufferers with strokes or serious injuries into a form of suspended animation to assist them survive extreme traumas. This research is now being backed by the US army, who consider it might help their surgeons cope with accidents suffered by soldiers in battle.'Hydrogen sulphide is made in very low doses in the physique and, removed from doing harm, it has turn out to be clear that it could do quite a lot of good,' said Dr John Wallace, a pharmacologist at the University of Calgary in Canada. 'It is found in the brain and can be thought to manage blood pressure. It is sort of pervasive, in reality.'Hydrogen sulphide is corrosive, foul-smelling, flammable and deadly in sufficient concentrations. A single breath can kill. Yet the gas has lately turn out to be a buzzword in scientific circles following discoveries that in tiny doses it plays a big role in influencing some chemical pathways within the physique.'We are initially of an increasing area that could have monumental medical implications,' stated David Lefer, cardiovascular physiologist at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the journal Science last week.One key piece of research has proven that hydrogen sulphide in bombes puantes could defend against inside bleeding, ulcers and other gastric effects suffered by these on lengthy-term regimes of anti-inflammatory painkillers corresponding to aspirin and ibuprofen. In a sequence of experiments on rats and mice, Wallace and his colleagues discovered that these painkillers - when administered with chemical substances that released hydrogen sulphide into the intestine - produced no dangerous side effects.'Now we're preparing to repeat these experiments on humans,' mentioned Wallace, who has fashioned a company, Antibe Therapeutics, to create medication based on hydrogen sulphide expertise. 'We envisage using standard medicines, mixed with hydrogen sulphide-releasing chemicals, as painkillers that won't trigger inner bleeding to lengthy-term users.'Hydrogen sulphide research in medication started three years in the past when Dr Mark Roth, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, Washington, discovered that mice exposed to low levels of the fuel passed out, their physique temperatures dropped more than 20C and their metabolic rates plunged. Once the fuel was switched off, they returned to normal. Now Roth is working on analysis geared toward reproducing the effect in people, buying time for patients who have had heart attacks, strokes or wounds which have caused drastic losses of blood.
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