Venom comes in many varieties and offers any number of horrific ways to die - destroying blood cells, dissolving flesh, paralyzing nerves and muscles, and stopping the breath, as deadly doses of coagulants, anti-coagulants, toxins, and poisons shut down the systems of the body. Death is swift, and in many cases, violent. Yet venom researchers are finding that there is much more to the story, just waiting to be revealed.
Incredibly, the venom of a Southern copperhead snake may hold a cure for cancer. The saliva of a gila monster could help diabetics produce their own insulin. Puffer fish might provide relief for sufferers of chronic pain. Today, scientists are learning that venoms have a flip side buried deep in their chemistry - lifesaving components with promising medical uses and impressive new possibilities - new drugs, new cures, new ways to save lives.
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