2 scorpion venom-based compounds have been synthesized that could work against infectious bacteria. They are also harmless for humans, claimed the scientists. Many animal species have venom in them. Some can only mildly irritate while others can kill a human being in minutes. However, it is claimed that diseases and infections may be cured by animal venom usage. Venom of a snake viper species from Southeast Asia can better blood clot treatments. Funnel spider venom can prevent any brain damage post strokes.
Researchers from SU and NAUM have discovered that Diplocentrus Melici could defeat infectious bacteria and not cause tissue harm in the process. The finding was published in PNAS. Prof. Zare and Prof. Possani from Standard and NAUM made these discoveries along with their teams. Possani has been trying to find cancer treatments using scorpion venom. Zare’s expertise is in chemical reactions occurring at molecular levels. The identified compounds that caused Diplocentrus Meliciare important venom for pharmacology. Finding the right scorpions was quite tricky.
The scorpion is buried most of the time and only comes out during rainy season, adding to the problems. The researchers used mild shocks to their tails to milk the venom out. It turned brownish when exposed outside.1,4-benzoquinone were deemed responsible for the change. They worked with 0.5 microliters of scorpion venom and discovered to previously unknown benzoquinones.
One has oxygen atoms while the other contains a sulfur atom. These molecules could destroy viruses related to tuberculosis, including the strains that had antibiotic resistance, it was found. However, in the tests done on mice, it didn’t harm tissues their lung lining tissue, indicating it was safe. The combination of both teams is what made this discovery possible. These two compounds can now be used as effective drugs. Possani stated that venom synthesis was the reason this work was successful.
Scorpion venom is quite expensive, costing $39 million a gallon. Critical ingredients had been identified from the venom and synthesized well. Therefore, the costs would not rise too high. The professors are now working on the reason behind the existence of these compounds in scorpions.