Spider venom may hold chemical keys to new painkillers

By REUTERS
March 4, 2015 07:38

LONDON - Scientists who analyzed countless chemicals in spider venom say they have identified seven compounds that block a key step in the body's ability to pass pain signals to the brain.

In research they said could one day lead to a new class of potent painkillers, the scientists focused on 206 species of spider and searched for molecules in the venom that block nerve activity, particular via so-called "Nav1.7 channels".



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