Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Great Wave Of Healing

Link to original
The beautiful blue coloration in the wood block print by Hokusai comes from a pigment known as Prussian Blue. The pigment has been used for centuries by artists. A lesser known use for Prussian blue is as an antidote for heavy metal poisoning, including cesium-137, a radioactive isotope which now threatens post-tsunami Japan.

I tweeted yesterday about how the simple inorganic salt potassium iodide (KI) works to displace the radioactive isotope of iodine which gathers in the thyroid. I hope that the people most affected are the first in line to get these ready-made treatments.


  1. The aptly-named crown ethers are also useful for sequesting mono-cations selectively. The selectivity is useful because normal mono-cations like sodium and potassium should remain untouched in vivo. As I understand things, the selective affinities for different cations can be tuned by varying such things as the ring size of the crown.

  2. Ha! I saw that same print at Patterico's and instantly fell in love with it.