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Could Drinking Puffer Fish "pop" Ko Karoshi Or Can Jellyfish Juice Take The Sting Out Of Alzheimer's


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Could Drinking Puffer Fish "Pop" KO Karoshi or Can Jellyfish Juice Take the Sting Out of Alzheimer's

Oct 2,2007-Also in Japan, energy drink makers are working on a stinging jellyfish-based bioluminescence beverage that glows in the dark from which the luminescent protein aequorin and the fluorescent molecule GFP have been extracted, purified, and cloned.

02/10/07 In Japan, beverage companies are working on a safe fugu (puffer fish) extract to be used in Japanese energy drinks, the fish is highly toxic, but despite this or perhaps because of this deadly side effect, it is considered a delicacy among the Japanese. Puffer fish (Sphoeroides testudineus) poisoning results from the ingestion of fish containing the deadly nerve toxin called tetrodotoxin and it is the most common and lethal form of marine poisoning in Japan. Neurological effects vary depending on the severity of poisoning but can include numbness, slurred speech, incoordination, and paralysis. The puffer's highly toxic liver poison is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. A lethal dose could fit on a pinhead. Over 10,000 tons of these so-called blowfish or puffer fish are consumed in Japan each year, in fact, it is considered an anti-karoshi modality and a highly effective aphrodisiac.

The deadly symptoms of puffer poisoning have been described by Dr. Bruce W. Halstead MD, in his book Dangerous Marine Animals, (Cornell Maritime Press, Cambridge, MD, 1959), "Symptoms of tingling about the lips and tongue and motor incoordination usually develop within 10-45 minutes after ingestion of the fish. The tingling may later spread to other parts of the body. In some instances, the numbness may involve the entire body, in which instances the victim may feel as though he were 'floating'. Excessive salivation, extreme weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain may soon follow. Twitching of the muscles, paralysis, difficulty in swallowing, loss of voice, convulsions, and death by respiratory paralysis may ensue. More than 60 percent of the victims poisoned by this fish die. There is no specific treatment or antidote for puffer poisoning."

Name your poison, far fetched? Also in Japan, energy drink makers are working on a stinging jellyfish-based (Aequorea victoria) bioluminescence beverage that glows in the dark from which the luminescent protein aequorin and the fluorescent molecule GFP (green fluorescent protein) have been extracted, purified, and cloned. The Sea of Japan is awash in these alien-looking, creatures, a team of researchers led by biochemist Kiminori Ushida from Riken (the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research) in Saitama and Shimva Chemical Industries in Kyoto, are working on a way to commercially extract the Glycoproteins (Qniumucin) from the giant Nomura's jellyfish which can get up to 6-foot-long, the monsters weigh in at more than 200 kilograms. This new source of ocean proteins may be reminiscent of the 1973 movie "Soylent Green", but with the exploding jellyfish populations around the world oceans, the food and beverage industry may soon have some interesting new additives, suggests the research.

Case in point; Prevagen (aequorin) a calcium-binding protein found in jellyfish that was originally researched as a treatment for Alzheimer's and is now being marketed as an anti-aging supplement to replace age-fighting proteins lost in the normal process of aging. Studies that where conducted by Quincy Bioscience in conjunction with scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have shown that the jellyfish protein aequorin results in a significant reduction of brain cell death in their animal studies.

"As a member of this protein family, aequorin interacts with calcium and regulates the actions of critical processes that control the health of the cells involved in learning and memory, focus and concentration. In the brain, calcium levels affect neural cell health and calcium-binding proteins play a protective role." said Mark Y. Underwood, President of Quincy Bioscience. "We all lose these types of proteins as we grow older and our jellyfish supplement replaces them, thus fighting the aging process. People describe the effects as an increase in concentration or focus, and they are more energetic with more mental sharpness," explained Underwood.

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