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How Used Coffee Grounds May Fend Off Parkinson’sMahesh Narayan, a biophysicist and professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, envisions a day when a truck from a lab might back into a parking spot behind the local Starbucks in service of treating Parkinson’s disease. Recent studies have demonstrated a correlation between drinking coffee and improved neurological function, but the chemical engineers in Narayan’s hypothetical scenario aren’t looking for a cup of coffee—they want the used grounds.In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Research, graduate students in Narayan’s lab at UTEP demonstrated that tiny particles called caffeic acid–based carbon quantum dots (CACQD)—which can be derived from spent coffee grounds—may have attributes useful in fending off neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. These conditions affect millions of Americans, and…

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