Poisonous snakes kill more than 90,000 people each year across the globe, with about 1.2 million to 5.5 million snake bites occur annually. Despite the venomous bite, scientists have limited knowledge of the snake’s venom, complicating efforts to develop treatments. A new study has found that snake venom gland cells can be cultured in the lab as adult-stem-cell-based organoids, producing real venom, which can be used to develop treatments. The inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), also commonly known as the western taipan, the small-scaled snake or the fierce snake is the by far the most toxic of any snake – much more so than even that of sea snakes – and it has the most toxic venom of any reptile when tested on human heart cell culture. It is estimated that one bite possesses enough lethality to kill at least 100 fully grown men. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_taipan
A team of researchers at the Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) has developed a way to grow snake venom gland cells as organoids, which secrete active toxins found in snake venom. The new discovery holds promise to help reduce the impact of snake venom.
For years, scientists have created mini-organs or organoids for adult human and mouse stem cells, which are able to divide and grow into new types of tissues in the body. They have been used to create tiny guts, brains, and livers, for study and possible development of treatments. However, they haven’t used the method in reptiles before.
Organoids have become a crucial tool for scientists to study many disease processes, and even in testing potential drugs. Now, they are being used in the production of snake venom, as published in the study published in the journal Cell .
“More than 100,000 people die from snake bites every year, mostly in developing countries. Yet the methods for manufacturing antivenom haven't changed since the 19th century. It's clear there is a huge unmet medical need for new treatments,” Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said in a statement. Collect venom glands from snakes Related Stories
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