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Scorpion venom compounds can kill dangerous bacteria

Researchers have managed to synthesize two scorpion venom compounds 

Thousands of animal species around the globe are venomous, from spiders to wasps, fish, snakes, and frogs.

The venom of some animals is only strong enough to produce mild irritation and discourage potential predators, while the venom of other animals, such as the tiny blue-ringed octopus, could easily kill an adult human within minutes.

However, researchers argue that many deadly animal venoms may also hold the answer to infection and disease.

For instance, the venom of Tropidolaemus wagleri, a viper species native to Southeast Asia, could improve the treatment of blood clots, and a key component of funnel web spider venom could help prevent brain damage following a stroke.

Scientists from Stanford University, in California, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Mexico City, have recently made another promising discovery: Two compounds from the venom of a scorpion native to Eastern Mexico, Diplocentrus melici, can fight off difficult bacteria without causing harm to healthy tissue.

The team conducted their research in mice, as well as in tissue samples, to test the compounds’ effectiveness and safety. The study’s findings now appear in PNAS.

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