STATES CHRONICLE- Animals are amazing. All of them have special characteristics that make them unique. Some of them provide food for us, while others could provide medicine. A new study shows that the venom of a tropical fish, Fang Blennies, can be used as a painkiller.
Small Doses of the Deadly Venom Could Combat Pain
Despite the fact that the venom of this fish can be deadly, in small dosage, it can help researchers develop new painkillers. If we take into consideration the problem of opioids, a painkiller that is not addictive could have a great impact.
This tropical fish has many tricks up its fin. For instance, when a predator swallows it, the Fang Blennies forces its assailant to open its jaws and gills, therefore escaping unharmed. Another powerful weapon is its venom. What is unusual about this fish is that it doesn’t inject its venom like others fish do. The Fang Blennies inject their venom through a large set of fangs.
Once it penetrates the victim’s blood stream, the venom lowers the blood pressure to near-death levels. This is why the venom could be used as a medicine. Due to its strong hypotensive effects, the unique venom could be adapted for medicinal purposes. However, the task is not as easy as it sounds.
The biggest problem is that there is not enough venom to test its properties as a potential painkiller or hypertension medication. Moreover, future studies might not be possible due to the fact that the coral reefs are disappearing. Once this fish loses its habit, it is going to be on the verge of extinction like many other marine animals who depend on the survival of the coral reef.
“If we lose the Great Barrier Reef, we will lose animals like the fang blenny and its unique venom that could be the source of the next blockbuster pain-killing drug,” said Brian Fry, a researcher and associate professor at the University of Queensland
This is why the environment should be protected so that we can be able to enjoy the benefits of nature. Other species of animals could help scientists make drugs that can provide better treatments. Despite this fact, more and more species are on the verge of extinction.
What is your opinion about this study? Have you ever seen this tropical fish?
Image source: Wikipedia