Bug Blog

Dangerous Cone Snail Venom Could Save The Lives Of Diabetics

The sea dwelling cone snail uses venom that paralyzes predators. This venom is special to medical researchers due to its ability to work as a treatment for those suffering from diabetes. Researchers believe that the venom could lead to an even more effective type of insulin than the types that exist currently.

The cone snail kills its prey by injecting venom into the water in order to poison fish. The fish absorb the venom through their gills and the venom causes the fish’s blood sugar levels to drop resulting in death. This drop in blood sugar is known as hypoglycemic shock. The snail then eats the entire fish whole. The venom is very fast acting, which lends itself well to functioning as a treatment for diabetes since diabetics depend on a quick change in their blood sugar levels in order to survive the diabetic attack. Researchers point out that much research is still need to determine whether or not it is safe for use on humans.

Could there be a component of the venom that makes it dangerous to humans as well?