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Deadly Blue Coral Snake Venom Might Actually Save Lives

Nov 03, 2016 08:24 AM EDT
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King Cobra
National Geographic describes king cobra as among the most venomous on the planet. They can reach 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length, making them the longest of all venomous snakes. Most of their species live in India, and they are currently classified as vulnerable
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Branded by scientists as the "killer of killers," the long-glanded blue coral snake, one of the most feared species of serpents in the world, could actually save lives by using its venom as pain relief.

According to a research of Dr. Brian Fry from the University of Queensland, there is something about this snake's venom that makes it behave out of the ordinary.

The blue coral snake has an interesting blue electric shock with red strikes all over. What is most special about it is that it has a stinging claw, similar to a scorpions' sting, at its tail.

Mostly found in Southeast Asia, this snake might have kinged through all the other deadly slithers. It is known to be so fierce that it could actually kill thd dreaded King Cobras as if they are tiny prey. This species is rare not just because of its exotically beautiful exterior. It is also famous for its unique, deadly venom which is thought to ease a person's pain.

According to experts, the snake's venom causes a reaction in the body that "turns on all the nerves," leading to paralysis. The science behind this is that when nerves are involuntarily overacting, sodium channels in the body cannot be turned off.

"The venom targets our sodium channels, which are central to our transmission of pain. We could potentially turn this into something that could help relieve pain, and which might work better on us," said Dr. Fry.

However, the blue coral snake's venom is not yet a medicine, and significant exposure could still kill any person. On the other hand, how the venom works on certain sodium channels in the body has shed light to possible alterations in medicine that could help in the betterment of pain relief.

New research studies have explored the possibility of using the actual venom for pain relief. Meanwhile, others have sought how to simulate a behavior of the body similar to that which has been exposed to this wonder venom.

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