WEB EXCLUSIVE

Snake Oil Salve

Venom gets useful.

Monday, December 12, 2005
RELATED TAGS: PHARMACEUTICALS

Look out Tiger Balm, here comes snake oil salve.

        

            

After a bite, many varieties of snake venoms induce a deadly muscle paralysis. Now researchers led by University of Padova's Cesare Montecucco have mimicked the recipe of the paralyzing poison.  The researchers found that a mixture of fatty acids and lipids can mimic the venom's neurotoxic effects.  The researchers aren't planning on using the concoction to find a cure, but are pursuing using the a nontoxic version of the poison to make new generation of topical muscle relaxants and anti-perspiration agents that can be applied as topical creams. More from sciencemag.org

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