Biology Essays · Uncategorized

The Transformation: From Dangerous Venom to Helpful Medicine

The phylum Arthropoda is perhaps one of the most diverse. It contains everything from insects to crustaceans. It has more species than in any other phyla known, and is incredibly varied.

There are quite a lot of harmful species in this phyla such as; spiders, scorpions, centipedes etc. Many of these are not only deadly to their prey, but they can also harm humans. The Black Widow spider for example has a deadly venom. Their bite is not generally fatal however, but very painful. Can these venomous creatures nevertheless provide some benefits to human beings?

Scientists have studied the possibilities of using venom as a potential medicine. Specifically, the chemicals found in the Brazilian Wasp venom has been known to bind to dangerous cancer cells and break them down. Scientists are now considering developing treatments to cancer based on this type of toxin.

Using venom as medicine could be really helpful, because it limits possible side-effects. Usually the venom in insects and other animals target only specific cell receptors and won’t inhibit the function of any other parts of the body. Discoveries have been made that link venom to the treatment of all sorts of different diseases, such as; muscular dystrophy, arthritis, and various blood disorders.

There is still a lot of research needed to be done on this topic however. Scientists still need to come up with a way to neutralize the toxicity of the venom and isolate the part of it that can be helpful. Many benefits for mankind can come out of these very important studies.

The poison of various arthropods can be used in another medicinal way. Studies have shown that venom from centipedes can act as natural painkillers. This led to the development and testing of that theory on mice. A peptide was taken from a certain venom and injected into the animal, and then all sorts of pain tests were applied to them. The mice could withstands varying degrees of acid, thermal, and chemical pain tests. Venom can be used as painkillers comparable in effect to that of morphine, except with none of the addictive side-effects!

There are many interesting and intriguing ways that the venom of creatures we think of as scary or deadly; can actually be used to benefit us as humans. This just goes to show you that there is a purpose for everything around us. Something that you think of as deadly might actually save your life one day!

-Shiphrah

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