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Could Tarantulas Hold the Secret to Relieving Chronic Pain? Researchers Think So

Medical Xpress

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Using $1.5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at University of California, Davis, are looking into whether venom from the widely feared tarantula spider could help relieve chronic pain.

"Spiders and scorpions have millions of years of evolution optimizing peptide, protein and small-molecule poisons in their venom, which we can take advantage of," said Bruce Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology who is working on the new pain reliever. "The same venoms that can cause pain and neurological dysfunction can also help nerves work better and reduce pain."

Hammock ...