New super-strong painkiller developed from snail spit

Scientists have developed a new pain-relief pill from a chemical used by sea snails to catch their prey.

It was found to be as effective as morphine for relieving the most severe forms of pain but without the added risk of addiction. Marine cone snails produce a saliva that contains a deadly dose of peptide toxins to help the slow-moving creatures catch prey. They inject passing victims with needle-like teeth that shoot out of their mouths.

Scientists have already transformed one of the chemicals into a pain-reliever for humans. However, it has to be injected directly into the spinal cord which limits how much it can be used.

Now researchers in Australia, led by David Craik of the University of Queensland, have developed a form of the painkiller that can be taken orally.

Source - Daily Mail