Using the poisons of deadly snakes to save lives might sound incongruous but UQ researchers are doing exactly that to create new medications and antivenom.
Venom Evolution Lab leader Associate Professor Dr Bryan Fry’s said the work focused on understanding venom in order to investigate and treat disease.
"To effectively treat snake bite victims and discover the possibilities for pharmaceuticals, we need to understand the unique chemistry of venom," Dr Fry said.
The research explores new treatments for diseases affecting human blood coagulation, such as stroke and cancer, as well as finding antivenoms for life-threatening snakebites.
"My lab is helping to address the issue of the burden of snakebite as a neglected tropical disease,” Dr Fry said.
"Some of the current antivenoms being used to treat the most common deadly snake bites are ineffective.
"But by studying which antivenoms work against certain species, we can provide doctors with a better guide for antivenoms that will work with critically ill snakebite patients."
You can join the life-saving efforts of the researchers at the Venom Evolution Lab by donating today.