Snake and Lizard venom can save lives too, study
A recent study from Australia has revealed that venom from snakes could prove useful in making life-saving drugs for cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
An international team including Gavin Huttley from The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, discovered that the deaddly toxins from snake and lizard venom can be transformed to completely harmless molecules that can be potentially developed into life-saving drugs.
"Our work highlights a fascinating relationship between molecules that make up reptile venom and normal cellular proteins," Huttley said, the journal Nature Communications reports.
"The results strongly suggest that venom molecules have been modified for non-venom purposes in nature. This is proof-of-principle that an otherwise toxic molecule can be modified to provide benefit to an organism, supporting interest in exploring their pharmaceutical potential," added Huttley.
Nicholas Caswell from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, who headed the study, claimed that the results shows the complex evolution of snake venom, according to a John Curtin statement.
"The venom gland of a snake appears to be a melting pot for evolving new functions for molecules, some of which are retained in venom for killing prey, while others go on to serve new functions in other tissues in the body," he said.
Wolfgang Wuster from Bangor University (UK) and study co-author, said the team's discovery opens the door to a new era of drug discovery. "Many snake venom toxins target the same physiological pathways that doctors would like to target to treat a variety of medical conditions," he said.
"Understanding how toxins can be tamed into harmless physiological proteins may aid the development of cures from venom," Wuster added.
-With inputs from IANS
Tips for roadtrips
May 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM
BCCI IN TROUBLE, MADRAS HC SEEKS GOVERNMENT TO TAKEOVER
May 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM
PIL FILED SEEKING SPORTS MINISTRY TAKEOVER OF CRICKET
May 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM