Feeds

Boffins prescribe SNAKE VENOM as future pain killer

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?