A tiny dose of a toxin can help keep your cells functioning how they should, and now we can see exactly how that happens. The toxin heme — which plays an important role in hemoglobin, the compound that helps your red blood cells transport oxygen — loses its toxicity when it’s bound with oxygen. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and heart disease can be tied to haywire amounts of heme in the body. Scientists wanted to closely track heme levels in the body, so they created a fluorescent sensor to watch it work. It’s science straight out of “The Great Gatsby” — the heme lights up bright green when it’s at a normal level, and then the green light fades as heme concentration increases.
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