It’s one of the world’s deadliest snakes, the black mamba, torturer of stupid tourist and unskilled bushwhacker alike. But the snakes have a pro-human purpose — their venom contains a painkiller that works the same way as morphine. But unlike morphine, it won’t turn you into a dope fiend.
The mamba uses neurotoxins that paralyze its victim, heading straight to the brain and disrupting signals from your body’s organs, eventually causing respiratory paralysis. But some French scientists have come up with a reason not to order a drone strike on all known mamba territories: The pain proteins they contain, known as mambalgins (duh!), can be used to kill pain. You can read all the science of it from our good friends at the National Geographic here.
The testing used mice, and after injecting them with treated mamba venom, they were more resilient against pain (they’re such a bunch of little troopers). As opposed to morphine, the venom didn’t create side effects, such as addiction, because it goes through the brain in a different way.
All of those in favor of doing invasive and demeaning medical tests on Kobe Bryant to see does he contain the same proteins, say I. Thought so.
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