A gas associated with the smell of rotten of eggs is now being proven to have widespread health benefits.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is widely known as a poisonous and corrosive substance, but now a mounting body of evidence suggests it could be used in a wide range of treatments for some of the biggest health problems of our time.
A conference hosted by the University of Exeter will bring together world-leading scientists to explore the emerging possibilities.
The conference will take place from September 8 to 11, and will discuss new research which shows that H2S can play a role in a diverse range of functions. They include reducing joint swelling, treating cancer, preeclampsia, neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and even helping plants grow in the dark.
On Sunday September 8 Professor Hideo Kimura will give an overview in the opening plenary entitled "Physiological Function of Hydrogen Sulfide and Beyond". The talk will take place at the Forum on the University's Streatham Campus. It starts at 6pm and is free to attend.
The conference is being organised by two world-leaders in H2S research, Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School, and Dr Mark Wood, of Biosciences. Prof Whiteman said: "Scientists began to take a real interest in H2S when it was discovered that the body naturally produces small quantities of this seemingly dangerous substance. Since then researches from around the world have been intrigued by the potential benefits. It very much appears from the rapidly growing body of scientific and medical literature that H2S is emerging as something of a potential wonderdrug and could in fact hold the key to solving some of our most widespread health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and arthritis. The key to unlocking these benefits is using it in the right way."
The conference will hear addresses from a range of experts, from universities in countries including Japan, Singapore, the USA, Germany, Denmark and Canada. For more information, visit the conference website: www.exeter.ac.uk/eventexeter/h2s/