Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Researchers unveil system for removing lead from blood

A team of South Korean scientists have come up with a way to remove lead from blood magnets, reports Reuters. Sounds like something out of Iron Man, yeah? Either way, it's pretty fascinating. The scientists are pretty serious about it. But Pound360 is afraid it's too impractical to do much good.

Here's how it works. The scientists devised a way to separate heavy metals (like lead) from blood with "specially designed magnetic receptors." In theory, detoxification of a living human's blood could work like hemodialysis: blood is diverted out of the body, run through the magnetic receptors, and then run back into the body.

Pound360 can see this working in extreme cases of lead poisoning. But we can't imagine this is a mass-solution for developing countries where lead exposure is a severe risk.

However, we can see this being a stepping stone for something bigger in the coming years.

(Photo courtesy Carsten Niehaus)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.