Gimme a Shot of Snail Venom?

Okay, everyday I scour the newswires and blog feeds for relevant information on health, fitness, and nutrition, but, I’m a natural humorist, so part of me is always on the look out for the unusual—the out-there! Things like baseball’s worst burger, the fatness of Australian pets, or, my personal favorite, this insane comment from another low carb loony. Well here’s a new one. Kristina Collins of The Cancer Blog discusses the potential of tropical snail VENOM as pain medication:
Conotoxin is toxin made by cone snails, which are fish eating snails that inhabit tropical coral reefs. Each of the 500 species of cone snail produces roughly 50 to 100 distinct conotoxins which they use to immobilize prey. Researchers believe that this sea snail venom could be used to create a pain medication to replace morphine.
Now, I’m no doctor and maybe conotoxin has lots of merit, but it sure seems weird to me. Then again, penicillin is made from fungus and no one finds that odd. Man, science is crazy—although this is good PR for poisonous tropical snails.
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Debbie - December 13, 2006 6:21 PM

Maybe it is crazy, but there are other drugs like this. For example, I take a drug (Byetta) for my diabetes that is based on (but not made out of) gila monster venom. And of course there is Botox, a neurotoxin. Which apparently does actually have therapeutic uses and is not just for wrinkles. Crazy/weird but sometimes very cool.

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