Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Deadly Venoms From Cone Snails, Cobras, Black Widows - the best medicine?

Neurobiologists such as Prof. Baldomero Olivera from the University of Utah believe that the deadly cone snail venom could hold the molecular keys for cures of diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's.

Scientists only scratched the surface of what they would call "the gold mine of new and powerful toxins" but to obtain enough venom for analysis it requires 50-100 snails and the impacts on the environment must be considered.

George Miljanich at Neurex Pharmaceuticals in San Francisco isolated a component within the cone snail's venom that alleviates chronic human pain. Biochemists at this lab came up with an experimental drug called SNX-111 which has proven to be a unique and effective medication.

In tests with cancer patients and victims of severe pain, SNX-111 alleviated the suffering without the side effects of morphine.

To find out more follow this link: http://lifestyle.in.msn.com/Health/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1199644


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