Innovations and Innovators

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Clotting Agents In Snake Venom

Brown snake venom causes your blood to clot so it isn't liquid. By using the isolated components of Brown Snake venom it could be possible to create a spray that can be used in an accidents that cause a lot of blood loss. The blood loss can be stopped or slowed down so parametics can rush the people in the accident to the emergency room before they bleed to death.

Cures Derived From Cone Shell Venom

The Conotoxins are special chemicals found in the venom of Cone Shells. Scientists have studied and identified over one hundred different toxins that have a probability of being able to treat arthritis and the pain associated with cancer. In 2004 the first drug using these conotoxins became available. Researchers say that it is 1000 times stronger than morphine. Morphine is the most powerful painkiller used before. This new drug has potential to be way more save to use than morphine because it does not have any adictive properties.

 

Copper Head Snake Venom

The Copperhead Snakes are not as toxic as other snakes but their venom has very promising possibilities. Professor Frank Markland of the University of Southern California has done research on this venom and has been able to isolated a protein called contortrostatin. This protein attacks breast cancer cells, protects healthy cells, and stops the spread of the cancer. Breast cancer model studies have shown that contortrostatin inhibited the grown of the cancer 70-80%.

 

Scorpion Venom - Treatment of Many Types of Cancers (brain, skin, lunch, etc)

Scorpion venom has neurotoxins that have peptides that are not harmful to humans but binds to tumor cells. Researchers have added radioactive isotopes to see if they can successfully kill of the cancer cells. This is an extremely promising new way of killing off cancer cells without harming normal cells. Researchers at the University of Chicago in Illinois are injecting a solution that contains this venom into people with various malignant brain cancer cells. This new drug is still in clinical trials but TransMolecular, Inc. hopes to have the drug on the market within a few years.

Gila Monster Helps Diabetics

The Gila Monster is a lizard found in Southwestern US. It has a component in it's venom called exenatide. Exenatide reduces blood sugar levels when they are too high. However when they return to normal it stops working. This is a good thing because hypoglacimia is just as deadly, if not more than hyperglacimia. Exenatide also curbs appetites which is helpful with people that have Type 2 Diabetes. This new drug is manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. In a three year study nearly 86% had healthy blood sugar levels!