Cone Snail’s Venom Thousand Times More Powerful Than Morphine

A sea-snail is a common creature but its cousin the cone snail is more dangerous, not only is it predatory against fish but also lethal for humans.

Although the cone snail is poisonous, scientists have been researching it for quite some time for its medicinal purposes and pain relief solutions.

A research study published in the journal Nature more than 10 years ago showed how just a few microlitres of a cone snail’s venom can kill 10 people.

Pain treatment researchers from the University of Queensland have conducted a new study in which they have discovered new toxins in the venom in a particular type of cone snail called Conus episcopatus.
Researchers claim that with this new study they have discovered the toxins that exist in the venom of a single cone snail.

“Cone snail venoms are a complex cocktail of many chemicals and most of these toxins have been overlooked in the past,” researcher Paul Alewood said in a statement.

Alewood and his research team came up with a new method of studying the shape and composition of the proteins in the venom, which aided them in developing six new frameworks for supporting their cause in further drug research.

The University stated in a press release that so far they have discovered 25 frameworks in the last 25 years.
The findings were published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Alewood stated that on the basis of these newly discovered frameworks, medications could be developed which can help with pain, Cancer and a number of other afflictions.

Meanwhile Florida Atlantic University published a study earlier this year showing how venom of these cone snails is particularly intriguing in the world of pain relief, due to its properties that act as an analgesic and immobilize prey.

FAU’s study on a different type of cone snail discovered how the toxins could have applications in cancer and addition treatments.

A previous research study, which did clinical trails on mice, discovered that the venom’s different components have varied results. While one component put the mice to sleep other components have various neurological effects such as making the mice shake or run aimlessly in circles.

The venom of the cone snail is so complex that in the past few decades 2,500 research studies have been conducted on it and its properties that make its venom

“thousand times stronger than morphine, the most powerful traditional painkiller.”


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