Cubozoan’s lethal venom strikes red blood cells, new study finds
A zinc compound sometimes taken to treat the common cold might have a second career as emergency treatment for anyone unlucky enough to get stung by an Australian box jellyfish, a new study finds. Researchers also find that venom from stings seems to poke holes in red blood cells, triggering the release of potassium that stops the heart when tested in mice.
Box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which roam the seas off northern Australia, deliver some of the most potent venom found in nature. In the last decade, scientists have shown that the venom can create pores in cells, spilling their contents. But the fundamental aspects of the venom’s lethality have been poorly unde