An antidote to the sting of the world’s most venomous creature has been discovered by scientists.
The Australian box jellyfish carries enough venom in its tentacles his to kill more than 60 people. A single sting from can cause excruciating pain, scarring and even cardiac arrest leading to “death within minutes” if the exposure is large enough.
But now researchers at the University of Sydney have found a way to block the venom’s ability to destroy cells.
The team used the genome-editing method known as CRISPR to work out exactly how the venom attacks, before using a cholesterol-absorbing drugs called cyclodextrins to prevent it from killing cells.
“Our drug works on the big beast,” said associate professor Greg Neely, one of the study’s authors. “We don’t know yet if it works on other jellyfish, but we know it works on the most-deadly one.”[…]