Race for the Venomous Cure

A line-up of multidisciplinary scientists have 4 years and a $10 million Department of Defense grant to find an oceanic opioid alternative.

Researchers from University of Utah Health are examining the venom of the cone snail, a tiny aquatic predator which paralyzes its prey using a poison-filled fang. Venom has potential as a source for human pain relief if processed correctly, but medication development from toxins can take about 10 years. Scientists are racing to complete their research before the grant money runs out.

If successful, the team may contribute to other efforts to develop non-opioid pain relievers that could help stem the opioid crisis.

National Geographic

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