From copperhead venom to centipede venom, the applications of poisonous animals in research continues to amaze me. I find it fascinating that we can learn so much from these bizarre and unconventional animals!
It turns out that a component of centipede venom- the same component that centipedes use to paralyze their prey via the blocking of sodium channels- could have real applications as a pain medication that is more efficient than morphine. In mouse studies, it proved to be a more potent pain reliever than morphine, and had no adverse effects on heart rate, blood pressure, or motor function.
While further studies are needed to validate the safety of such a drug for humans, this could have real applications for those who suffer from chronic pain. Maybe these guys aren’t so creepy after all!