March 21, 2017 | Lisa, Exhibitions Developer, Science Museum

They may be the stuff of nightmares, but one type of venomous spider could hold a potential treatment for stroke sufferers.

Researchers in Australia have discovered that a protein found in the venom of the Australian funnel web spider could help protect the brain from injury after a stroke. It works by blocking mechanisms in the brain that are thought to cause damage. The venom has been tested on lab rats and showed promising results.

I'm fascinated that a potential new medical treatment can be taken from something that's generally lethal to humans.


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The spiders are 'milked' for their venom using a pipette.


Image: Judy Gallagher/Flickr

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