Saturday, October 2, 2010

But what if you're allergic to mice?

Remember a few years back when there was a news story about a lethal "peanut butter kiss"? A girl had died, and the rumor that was circulating was that her boyfriend had just eaten a peanut butter sandwich and kissed her, and she was so fatally allergic to peanuts that she had a reaction and died. It turned out to be a load of crap--the coroner released an official report after her autopsy stating that she did not have an allergic reaction to kissing her boyfriend--but the urban legend was just too juicy for people to let go. I still hear coworkers talking about it.

I haven't seen anyone die from a food allergy, but I have seen some pretty bad reactions. Allergies to things like wheat, peanuts, and milk can be serious business. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be for allergy sufferers since those items end up in so many of the food products available in stores and items on restaurant menus these days.

Given all that, I think it's kind of a big deal that Johns Hopkins prevented mice from having fatal allergic reactions. I think that's good news. Granted, it usually takes a long time for something to get from the "tested in mice" stage to the "making life better for everyone" stage, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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