Venom in Tarantulas May Be the Cure for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a common problem a lot of people have to deal with each and every day. The most common reason for such discomfort is long periods of physical strain. While there are a lot of remedies and cures for chronic pain, researchers have never stopped looking for a more efficient solution. Even spiders were not exempted from this search.
Spiders are among the most-feared animals. Aside from their delicate, hairy bodies and eight legs, spiders are also feared because of their venom. Some species can paralyze large mammals or even kill.
However, a recent study has discovered the possible benefits of spider venom in relieving chronic pains and muscular strain. How does it work?
The use of spider venom to relieve pain is not a new idea. Many of the world’s 45,000 species of spiders kill their prey by injecting them with venom that contains up to thousands of protein molecules, known as peptides. Some of these peptides block nerve activity, so researchers have increasingly focused on identifying spider venom peptides that could act as pain relievers in humans.
However, the large number of peptides found in spider venom has presented a challenge for scientists. “A conservative estimate indicates that there are 9 million spider-venom peptides, and only 0.01% of this vast pharmacological landscape has been explored so far,” says study author Dr. Julie Kaae Klint, also of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.
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