Cone snail venom may reduce pain. (Wikimedia Commons/Kerry Matz)
Newly Created Drug Has 100 Times Morphine’s Power
It’s still in experimental stage, and makes use of snail venom
By Matt Cantor, Newser Staff
Move over, morphine. Someday, we may be turning to carnivorous snails for our pain-killing needs, a study suggests. Australian researchers have found that a drug made using venom from ocean-dwelling cone snails may be 100 times as powerful as top painkillers morphine and gabapentin, which are currently used to ease chronic nerve pain born from injury, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, AFP reports. What’s more, the drug, based on peptides called conotoxins that reside in the snails’ venom, is thought not to have the addictive properties of other painkillers, the Sydney Morning Herald notes.