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article imageCentipede venom is more effective than morphine

By Tim Sandle     Oct 5, 2013 in Science
Centipede venom has been shown to work even better than morphine to dampen pain in rodents. The finding could be important for analgesic development.
Changes to a a sodium ion channel in the human body can leave people completely indifferent to pain. The channel is called NaV1.7. The channel forms part of the nervous system.
Researchers have characterized a newly discovered component of centipede venom that inhibits the particular sodium channel that can help people not to feel 'pain'. The venom is said to be more effective than the established pain-relief medication morphine.
Glenn King, one of the authors of the study, told ABC that "Centipedes worked out hundreds of millions of years ago the easiest way to catch prey was to paralyze them by blocking their NaV channel. We're just lucky that of the nine NaV channels in humans, it hit the one we were after."
The findings have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper titled "Discovery of a selective NaV1.7 inhibitor from centipede venom with analgesic efficacy exceeding morphine in rodent pain models."
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