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Poison of a rare snake basis for a new very effective pain reliever


Drug does not addictive and is more effective than opium
The poison of a rare snake from Asia could be used in the future to create a new effective pain reliever. Researchers have now found that the poison of the so-called blue coral snake can be used to treat pain, muscle tears and migraines for effective pain therapy.

The University of Queensland scientists found that the poison of a very rare Asian snake could be used as a new effective pain reliever. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Toxins".

New drug more effective than opium?
The poison of one of the rarest snakes in Southeast Asia can apparently be turned into a non-addictive pain reliever. This pain reliever could even be more effective than opium, the scientists say. For 15 years, scientists have been researching the development of a pain reliever from snake venom.

Blue coral snake has the largest venom glands of all snake species
With the combination of blue stripes and a neon red head and tail, the blue coral snake is probably one of the world's most striking snake species. The colorful snake also has the largest poison glands in the world, which extend over a quarter of the length of the body, the researchers explain.

Rare snake is threatened with extinction
The blue coral snake is only found in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. However, the rare snake is threatened with extinction due to mass deforestation, the scientists explain. The animal is already very rare anyway and now the snake's habitat is also being destroyed. Forests are being cut down to make more space for palm oil plantations, the scientists say.

Humans are exterminating animals and plants that could possibly cure a number of diseases
This is a great example of why we need to protect nature. Such a rare animal could potentially be useful for human medicine. But of course the medicine won cannot save lives if the snake is extinct, the researchers emphasize. It is not unlikely that numerous unknown medicinal plants were also destroyed in the deforestation of huge forest areas. There might have been plants to cure cancer, but we wiped them out before we could even study them, explains author Dr. Bryan Fry from the University of Queensland.

Health benefits of the poison were only discovered by accident
Dr. Fry has been working with snakes for the past twenty years. The discovery of the health benefits of the poison only came about by chance. The research team is now working on an artificial improved version of the toxin before the poison is to be converted into an effective medicine. This could mean commercialization and mass production. Other similar beats from the same bloodline must now also be examined. This is the only way to determine whether the poison of these animals can have similar benefits, explains the author.

In which countries is there an increased risk of snake bites?
Poisonous animals and snake bites are still an underestimated danger today. The World Health Organization reports 5 million snake bites annually. Unfortunately, around 125,000 of these end in death and 300,000 with permanent disabilities. Around 100,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in Asia every year, as is Africa. There are also approximately 10,000 snake bites in the United States each year.

Where are there no poisonous snake species?
But there are also some areas in the world that are free of venomous snakes. These include, for example, Antarctica, some islands in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean. But there are also no poisonous snakes in Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Madagascar. (as)

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