Scientists have developed a new drug for Type 2 diabetes based on peptides found in the saliva of Gila monster, a venomous lizard.
They are also developing new drugs for chronic pain, heart attacks, high blood pressure and stroke from venom of the Magician's cone snail, the saw-scaled viper, the Brazilian lancehead snake and the Southeastern pygmy rattlesnake.
Peptides are short sequences of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins and play central roles in many key body processes involved in health and disease.
As drugs, they have several advantages over traditional medications, including higher potency and lower toxicity.
The study was published in the current edition of Chemical and Engineering News (C andEN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine.