Sometimes Poison, Sometimes Medicine
Venomous reptiles could be a new source of medicines for many human diseases, according to a new study conducted in Liverpool. Poisons of numerous reptiles were previously-used in preparing a number of medications, but in time people began to avoid their use because of the risk for humans. So, what sometimes is poison, it is sometimes a medicine. That's nothing strange if we have an old Latin proverb on our minds - Dosis venum facit, which means - quantity makes the poison. However, a new study published in the journal "Nature Communications" has shown that snakes and lizards have a "gentle" toxins which they often use on their bodies. Scientists think that these toxins could be the basis of numerous new medication.
"Our research has shown that the evolution of venom is very complex," said Dr. Nicholas from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. "The venom glands of snakes are essential points in the process of further evolution and in discovery of new functions of venom molecules. We observed that only a few molecules of the venom are made for killing a prey, while we found lots of molecules that might seem medicinal" - he explained.
The venom of snakes and other reptiles would be of great use in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, says Dr. Wolfgang Worcester from Bangor University. He also claims that toxins can be curative, but they should be dosed properly to be safe for human use. And once again, it seems that old Latin people had some knowledge of this, because it really is true - Dosis venum facit.