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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Protein in Tarantula Venom can Block Pain, Yale University Finds

 The scientists screened over 100 potential toxins to find one protein from Peruvian green velvet tarantula that blocks pain transmitting neurons.

The screening technique used in the study has the potential to quickly search millions of similar pain-killing toxins. They call the latest process, "toxineering."

"The beauty of the system is we can also screen engineered toxins not found in nature, and identify higher-potency and more specific molecular variants that lack deleterious effects on essential nerve functions,'' Michael Nitabach, associate professor of cellular and molecular physiology and of genetics, and senior author of the paper.

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