Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Lyme Disease

VenomKB, a Therapeutic Natural Poison Database, Makes Folklore Into Science

Inverse, 12/8/2015

The benefits of venom are still vastly untapped. The first database of therapeutic venom wants to help with that.

Sometimes what should hurt you, helps you, and what sounds like folklore turns out to be really science. The saliva of the Gila Monster, an orange speckled lizard native to the American Southwest, is poisonous — but it also can be used to effectively treat Type 2 diabetes. Scorpions, a peer in deadliness, aren’t typically thought of as a friend to man, but their venom can be used to mark tumors during surgery. While you may not want to encounter these venomous creatures in the wild, you should want researchers to encounter the venom compounds they produce in the lab...

Bee venom has a protein called melittin which has been shown to have strong antibacterial effects, particularly against the pathogen that causes Lyme disease. But when someone is being stung by a bee, they are being injected with all the components of bee venom — not just with the component that could help.

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