Snakes have always been the scariest reptiles on earth. Their venom can be a life saver or can take the life out of you.
In a recent study made by some scientists, it has been found that Venom obtained from long-gland blue coral snake which is counted among Southeast Asia’s rarest and deadliest snakes, can be utilised to make painkillers that relieve pain without any side effects.
“It’s a great example of why studying the really weird animals is a great path for biodiscovery and you can’t get any weirder than this snake with the longest venom glands in the world,” Fry said.
The snake is identified by electric blue stripes with the neon-red head whose tail can grow up to 2 metres long. Its venom glands extend to 60 centimetres, about a quarter of its body length.
The venom has been described as “the killers of killers” as this snake is unique in comparison to other snakes. Its venom spreads rapidly and causes its prey to spasm as like the scorpion’s sting does.
Researchers identified six unusual peptides in the venom of the blue coral snake that can switch on all of its prey’s nerves at once. This immediately immobilises its victim.
Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland in Australia, said that the venom contains a special type of sodium channel which can be important for the treatment of pain among humans.
In the report findings, it was mentioned that the venom used receptors which could be critical to treating pain in humans. Learning how these work may enable improved pain treatment and management, the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reported.
The findings were published in the journal Toxins.
“This was a 15-year project in the making that has finally come true after we managed to study two of such snakes in Cameron highlands, Malaysia,” Fry told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Monday.