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Predatory Snail Saves Humans

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posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 05:42 PM

This isn't the plot of a science fiction movie, rather it’s very close to reality for the cone snail. The toxic venom it uses to hunt down and paralyze its prey may also hold the key to saving human lives.

Investigations into the pain-killing properties of cone snail venom led to the development of Prialt, a drug 1,000 times as potent as morphine which has proven success in reducing extreme pain in cancer and AIDS patients.

The potential of the venom's success in treating medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and strokes is enormous, but this potential may never be unleashed if we don't protect the cone snail's coral reef and mangrove habitats.

CI is working to combat the destruction of the cone snail's habitats in the Coral Triangle seascape of Indonesia and the Philippines, and elsewhere, to ensure that the cone snail and its lifesaving venom is sustained for the benefit and health of future generations.

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