January 28, 2021
the wild world of researching venom
By Wilson da Silva
Enter the the Venom Evolution Lab at the University of Queensland
The Venom Evolution Lab is full of gutsy scientists ready to study and handle some of world’s most venomous animals, including various species of spiders, snakes and jellyfish.
... think eastern brown snakes and funnel-web spiders
It may be dangerous, but it’s necessary for making the antidotes needed to treat the millions of people bitten around the world each year by venomous animals.
This injury is from a box jellyfish, one of the marine creatures being studied at the venom lab.
However, the lab isn't just working on anti-venom. Researchers believe that understanding venom can also make a big difference to treating human disease.
Venoms have already given the world six new drugs, one of which is Ziconotide, derived from a species of marine cone snail and which is highly effective against severe chronic pain.