A slither of poisonous sea snails, which are found off Australia’s coast, appear to hold the secret to a new generation of pain killers.
The snails hunt creatures which we guess do not move very fast and inject them with a cocktail of agents so powerful that it could kill an elephant, if one happened to be swimming off Australia.
Professor David Adams, who is director of the Health Innovations Research Institute at Melbourne’s RMIT said the venom that’s the base would cause no problem with addiction. No one eats invertebrates as part of a Saturday night out. Well other than in Hull and that is more of a date.
The breakthrough came when boffins were reading old medical reports where people were licked by poison snails.
While most of the victims did die, they felt no pain and croaked because of respiratory paralysis.
Adams realised that the peptides in the venom were designed to target receptors in pain pathways.
The next thing to do is to find the peptides that do all the work and put them to use.
A venom-based painkiller could be five years away.