Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Antarctic Octopi Venom Could Lead to New Drugs

Some of the more interesting news stories popping up in my Antarctic news Google alert the past week or so has been about octopus venom. It seems that venom that has been collected from octopi found in the waters around Antarctica could be useful in drug development. The research carried out by researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, and the University of Hamburg collected Antarctic octopi venom as well as discovered four new species.

They have found that the octopi in Antarctica have adapted so that their venom works in sub zero temperatures. Now they are trying to figure out how exactly the venom works. They believe that some of the small proteins in the venom could be used in making drugs. Some of the conditions that could benefit from the understanding of the octopi venom being used in drug design include pain management, allergies, and cancer.