posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 01:08 PM
A researcher has examied the evolutionary history of snake venom. He's found that it did not in fact evolve from the saliva, as generally thought.
Rather it evolved from proteins active in the brains, eyes, and even testicles.
Australia's Dr Bryan Grieg Fry reports in the journal Genome Research today that he has mapped the evolutionary origins of snake venom toxins, with
some surprising results.
He's found the toxins evolved not from molecules in snake saliva as previously thought, but from innocuous proteins normally produced in other body
"It's a dramatic example of the fact that evolution cobbles together all kinds of existing capabilities ... In this case it seems that evolution has
managed to grab hold of a whole range of snake proteins and manufactured them into venom."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
I find the research noteworthy and interesting especially because it is surprising. Researcher Fry compared the venom proteins from various species
to non-venoumous but correlated proteins. I beleive these can be said to be 'homologous' proteins.
Nature yields many surprises to those who patiently study it, or even to those of us who just read the newpaper.
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[edit on 11-3-2005 by Banshee]