Feeds

Boffins prescribe SNAKE VENOM as future pain killer

Take two Black Mamba bites, see your doctor if pain persists

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The venom of the Black Mamba, rated the world's seventh most potent snake poison, has been suggested as a future painkiller for humans.

A letter in Nature suggests the application is viable as the venom contains “a new class of three-finger peptides … able to abolish pain through inhibition of Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in central or peripheral neurons.” ASICs, the letter explains, “are generally considered principal players in the pain pathway.” If the peptides in Black Mamba venom shut them down, that's good news.

The researchers also say that mice, a creature among the Black Mamba's favorite prey, are immune to its venom and experience an analgesic effect when bitten.

The peptides in question work their magic without bothering the bits of the brain targeted by opiates, removing the side effects created by that class of drugs.

One of the research's authors,  Anne Baron of France's Centre national de la recherche scientifique, told Agence France Press “(It) is surprising that mambalgins, which represent less than 0.5 percent of the total venom protein content, has analgesic (pain-relief) properties without neurotoxicity in mice, whereas the total venom of black mamba is lethal and among the most neurotoxic ones."

The AFP report adds that “A patent has been issued and a pharmaceutical company is examining the possibilities.” A patent troll versus Black Mamba battle may therefore be in prospect. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.