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From Venoms to Drugs


Venomous carniverous cone snails are a rich source of molecules for scientific research and potential drug development.

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(Duration: 58 min 29 sec)

Natural selection has produced an astounding array of venoms for prey capture. Marine cone snails are among the most dangerous venomous creatures. Cone snail venoms are potent, deadly to fish and people, and each species makes a venomous cocktail of up to 200 different toxins. One of these toxins has been developed into a drug called Prialt—a pain killer that prevents the spinal cord from relaying pain information to the brain. With over 700 living species of cone snails, each having up to 200 unique toxins, there are potentially more than 140,000 novel molecules with drug potential.