Bladder Glow


When you gotta go, you gotta go!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying…where’s the next rest stop??!

Overactive bladders? The worst! Too bad they can’t be controlled with a simple stop light! Or can they?

Researchers led by Robert Gereau at Washington University in St. Louis think it’s possible. The researchers put a special, light sensitive protein in rat bladders. This protein stops the need to pee!

Then they wrapped the rat’s bladder with a stretch sensitive sleeve equipped with green LED lights.  As the sleeve stretches, it senses and learns the tinkle tendencies of the rats. When a rat tinkled more frequently than its buddies, the rat’s bladder sleeve glowed green!

The LED triggered more of the light-sensitive protein to be made in the bladder – eliminating the need to pee. Result? No more untimely tinkles!

The researchers hope this approach will lead to an alternative to pharmaceutical treatments – and less accidents!

In the meantime, I really gotta go! I just hope you can’t tell by the glow!