Black mamba bite packs potent painkiller

Study of snake venom in mice reveals potential new strategy for relieving agony

By Tanya Lewis, 12:07 PM October 4, 2012

A snakebite may bring on a world of hurt, but a substance found in black mamba venom could actually relieve pain. The finding reveals a new possible approach for pain treatment, researchers report online October 3 in Nature.

The black mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis, is one of the most lethal snakes on Earth. But a team of researchers in France found that compounds in the snake’s venom have the same pain-banishing effect on mice that morphine does.

The compounds, called mambalgins, ...

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