Spider Bites for Cures?

Researchers scan the molecules in spider venom for anti-cancer effects in tissue culture.

By | October 31, 2011

Could a bite from a spider help researchers develop cancer treatments?

University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience researchers are planning to find out by identifying the molecules found in the venom of a native Australian funnel-web spider and examining their effects on breast cancer cells.

Researchers have found pharmaceutically active compounds in venom before: molecules found in venom are being explored for chronic pain, and other research has shown that components of scorpion venom binds to cancer cells in mice, according to The Courier Mail.

"We are hoping spider toxins will do the same thing for breast cancer, or do even more and kill the breast cancer cells," Norelle Daly, a researcher on the project. told The Courier.

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