Want to know how one of our biggest fears can turn in our best friend? A British-Australian study recently showed that snake venom holds cures for cancer and diabetes. Who knew that something so harmful and threatening can help us get better?
This British-Australian study unveiled one of the biggest secrets of nature. We all knew that snake venom was essential for anti-venom serum but now those scientists came to blow our minds. It seems that snakes are able to convert their venom back into harmless molecules that scientists say could help find a cancer cure.
This study showed that snake venom evolved from perfectly harmless proteins and these clever scientists found the way to turn it back into these proteins. How could this help us you may ask yourself? Well, snake venom typically targets the same physiological pathways as many human diseases. And by modifying these structures in the venom they can make it to target specific areas with problems.
“Our work highlights a fascinating relationship between molecules that make up reptile venom and normal cellular proteins,”. Gavin Huttley, part of the Australian researchers team said, the journal Nature Communications reports.
Some snake venoms, for example, cause the cells that line blood vessels to separate and die, including the kinds that feed cancerous tumors. Huttley said mapping how that worked could lead to more effective cancer treatments.
“Many snake venom toxins target the same physiological pathways that doctors would like to target to treat a variety of medical conditions,” said Wolfgang Wuster from Bangor University and study co-author.
The snake venom, once considered deadly, is now seen by the scientists as “a small drug company, running huge numbers of experiments on evolutionary timescales with new molecules and seeing what works”. That meaning that with time and money, these people are able to find cures to diseases like cancer, diabetes or cardio-vascular problems such as high blood pressure.
Hopefully, they will continue on studying this marvelous substance and map the snake’s amino acid changes so new drugs will be out on the market soon to treat our most feared diseases.