Fang blenny fish’s venom may help develop new painkillers

Fang blenny fish’s venom may help develop new painkillers

A new study by a team of Australian and British scientists has suggested that tiny fanged fish called blennies’ unusual venom could be used to produce new painkillers.

The fang blenny has two huge canines jutting out of the lower jaw. Members of this species use their venom to put off attackers; and not to kill their preys.

Associate Prof. Bryan Fry of University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences Venom Evolution Lab led a team of researchers who conducted a series of experiments on lab mice and found that the venom is painless.

The venom of the fearless 1.5-3- inch swimmers just numbs potential predators; rather than triggering pain in their bodies.

Sharing their findings, the researchers reported, “The fish injects other fish with opioid peptides that act like heroin or morphine, inhibiting pain rather than causing it. The venom causes the bitten fish to become slower in movement and dizzy by acting on their opioid receptors.”

The findings of the new study were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Current Biology.

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