Snail Venom Studied As Source For New Drugs
Published: Aug 25, 2004
Researchers are plumbing the depths of the seas to develop new drugs for pain relief and brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. They're particularly interested in some of the lowliest ocean dwellers: cone snails. Cone snails are mollusks found mostly in tropical waters. Some feed on fish; others eat mollusks or marine worms. Cone snails inject their prey with venom to paralyze and eventually kill it. Their venom has even killed more than 30 people, including several who lived long enough to tell their tales.