Exciting new research undertaken by a gaggle of Canadian nanny-staters explains how a popular anti-wrinkle agent called 2-dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) delivers an "instant face lift":
[T]he application of DMAE induces a quick and spectacular swelling of skin cell vacuoles called fibroblasts, which act as reservoirs and interface between the inside and the outside of the cell.It's not clear how these findings affect DMAE's standing as a memory booster, a performance enhancer for athletes, an antidepressant, or a curing agent for polyurethanes and epoxy resins.
In the hours following the application of DMAE, the researchers observed an important slowing down of cell division—sometimes coming to a complete stop, the inhibition of certain metabolic reactions, and the death of a significant percentage of fibroblasts. The mortality rate of fibroblasts, which varied according to DMAE concentration, was above 25% after 24 hours in the case of a concentration similar to the one resulting from normal use of an antiwrinkle cream. The thickening of the skin induced by the pathological swelling of the fibroblasts would explain the antiwrinkle effect of DMAE, according to the researchers.
In unrelated news, a number of industrial logging firms have apparently obtained lucrative logging rights in the Congo rainforest by giving bags of salt, crates of beer, machetes, and bicycles to the natives.
Which century is it, again?
(Image via UCLA's collection of Patent Medicine Trade Cards.)