According to a recent article from The Washington Post, Mari and his team are coaxing venom from cone snails
to study receptors in the human immune system in hopes of curing diseases like Parkinson's, tuberculosis, and even cancer.
At that time much of the work, both his own and published by others, involved testing the effects of cone snail
venoms and their peptide toxins, noting strong paralytic effects that mimicked what was observed in actual cone snail
injections into its prey.
An evaluation of the antinociceptive effects of Pha1b, a neurotoxin from the spider Phoneutrianigriventer, and [omega]-conotoxin MVIIA, a cone snail
Conus magus toxin, in rat model of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Craik and colleagues have based their findings on conotoxins, the small proteins contained in cone snail
venom that have long been known for its pain relieving properties.
The projectile tooth of a fish-hunting cone snail
: Conus catus injects venom into fish prey using a high-speed ballistic mechanism.
Around 500 species of cone snail
live in waters around French Polynesia in the southern Pacific.
One pat = "He ran a nice race but we didn't have enough cash on", two pats = "Royal Ascot here we come", three pats = "Today was the day", four or more pats = "Thank God for that, I was worried the cone snail
venom was wearing off".
Each of the 700 species of cone snail
has its own unique venom, made up of a specific cocktail of toxins.
Two years ago, the FDA approved a drug for intractable pain derived from an ocean cone snail
. The drug, Prialt, is based on the sea snail's ability to use a venom called a conotoxin to capture its prey, he explains.
About 18 of the world's 500 cone snail
species have resulted in human envenomation.
Not to mention the beautiful but venomous cone snail
which has come up with a spider-like solution to how such a slow-moving creature can hope to catch its prey - by injecting it with a cocktail of about a dozen small toxic compounds.
The cone snail
toxin is an extremely interesting compound that blocks the neuromuscular junction, even in minute quantities.