Venom – Lethal Toxins or Medical Miracles?

Most of us are afraid of venomous creatures—those creepy, crawly animals with fangs or54cab3c65a8fc_-_poisons-03-0711-xln stinger tails, not to mention those slithery snakes with lethal incisors dripping venom. We don’t want to be anywhere near them, and rightfully so since the venoms of these creatures are designed to stop us dead in our tracks.

Deadly venoms are complex blends of some of the most lethal toxins known to man. Each type attacks a specific body part and disrupts their function to disable the victim.

However, those same venomous lethal properties designed by nature to kill can be used in beneficial ways as pharmaceutical marvels to cure diseases and manage chronic medical conditions.

Some of the most notable lethal toxins used medically include the following:

Spider Venom – The deadly toxins in the Peruvian green velvet tarantula can block chronic pain. Additionally, in a study where researchers analyzed 206 different spider species, they found that 40% of the venoms had compounds that blocked the nerve activity that translated to chronic pain.

Centipedes – Researchers found that the Chinese redheaded centipede injects its prey with venom that blocks a sodium channel protein and ultimately paralyzes its victims. This effect has been studied for use as a painkiller and the results indicate a comparable outcome to the pain relieving qualities of morphine.

Scorpions – As with centipedes, scorpion venom interferes with sodium channel 54cab3c5cbf3e_-_poisons-01-0711-xlnproteins to act as potent painkillers. Researchers in Seattle have also discovered that scorpion venom could assist in fighting cancer. These scientists have developed a “tumor paint” which identifies brain cancer by re-engineering a specific protein from the Israeli Deathstalker Scorpion with a fluorescent molecule to make the resulting substance bind to cancer cells and make them glow brilliantly for better therapy targeting.

Snakes – Scientists have known about the medicinal properties of snake venom for quite some time. Some venom (depending on the variety of snake) has anti-tumor properties while others have antibacterial and painkilling qualities. Additionally, hemotoxins in snake venom target the body’s ability to clot blood and drugs derived from snake venom54cab3c703e28_-_poisons-05-0711-xln are beneficial in treating heart attacks and blood disorders. Neurotoxins in snake venom have been isolated also and drugs from these specific toxins have been developed to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as stroke and brain injuries.

Sea Creatures – A multitude of sea animals may hold potential cures and treatments in their venom. One study found that sea anemones and “core” snails produce toxins that could be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

So when using a lethal toxin as a poison in your murder scene, a bit of knowledge about the benefits of that toxin could help frame that scene and the villain using that poison in a more realistic way.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, About Murder, About Writing, All About Murder, Beneficial Venoms, Benefits of Scorpion Venom, Benefits of Snake Venom, Benefits of Spider Venom, Blog Writers, Blogging, Bloodless Death Scene Writing, Centipede Venom as a Drug, Chemical Poisons, Chemicals Used For Murder, Deadly Scorpion Venom, Deadly Venoms, Deathstalker Scorpion Venom, Deathstalker Scorprion, Designer Poisons Used For Murder, Designing Murder Plots, Dramatic Murder Weapons, Drugs From Venom, Drugs Used For Murder, Healing Venoms, How To Write A BloodLess Murder Scene, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Instruments of Death, Interesting Murder Weapons, Israeli Yellow Scorpion Venom, James J. Murray, James J. Murray Blog, Lethal Chemical Poisons, Lethal Scorpion Venom, Medical Uses of Venom, Medical Uses of Venoms, Methods of Murder, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Weapons Discussed, Murder with Neurotoxins, Neurological Poisons, Neurotoxin Poisons, Neurotoxins and Murder, New Blog, New Methods of Murder, Paralytic Nerve Toxins, Paralytic Poisons and Murder, Poisonous Scorpion Venom, Poisons and Murder, Prescription Trends, Scorpion Venom, Snake Venom as a Drug, Spider Venom as a Drug, The Science of Murder, Venom-Lethal Toxins or Medical Miracles, Venoms That Kill and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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