For the first time, synthesize snake toxins in the laboratory

For the first time it was possible synthesize the poisonous toxins of snakes using small organs bred in vitro without having to breed and extract the substance directly from the animal.

A team of scientists from theUniversity of Utretch, in the Netherlands, has managed to synthesize the poisonous toxins of snakes directly in the laboratory by taking them from very small glands, organs, which manage to “breed” directly in vitro. These synthetic glands are cells taken directly from snake embryos, grown and grown under certain conditions of temperature and nutrients. These cells become like this organoidsor rather simplified and smaller than normal organs which, however, manage to summarize, in this case, fully functional poison toxins.

Scientists, who published the research on Cell, they tell us that they managed to synthesize, with this method, the toxins of seven different species of snake in addition to the toxin of the notorious snake Cape coral. Being able to synthesize perfectly functioning toxins in the laboratory is a further step forward search for new poison drugs and antidotes considering that, especially in the less wealthy countries, the mortality rates caused by the bite of poisonous snakes are very high. Until now, in fact, the only way to get snake toxins and use them to create an antidote was to raise the animal and take the poison directly from its poisonous glands.

To recreate these in vitro organs The scientists used the same techniques as the basis for culture, which are used to create organoids from human cells. These procedures were then modified to be adapted to the needs of snake cells, in some respects other than human cells. The cells taken from the venom glands of snake fetuses they were thus bred, divided and increased in number until they created the organoid thus succeeding, in two months, in producing the poisonous toxins.

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