Spider Venom May Help Protect the Brain from Injury after a Stroke

The researchers from the University of Queensland and Monash University found that a single dose of the protein Hi1a, found in funnel web spiders, can protect the brain from injury after a stroke.stroke

Having collected spiders from Fraser Island off the south coast of Queensland, the researcher took the spiders to their laboratory “for milking”, which involved coaxing the spiders to release its venom. Then the scientists dissected the venom gland of the spiders and honed in on a protein in the venom to recreate a version of it in their lab. After that, they injected Hi1a into the laboratory rats.

They found that the protein blocked acid-sensing ion channels in the brain that are key drivers of brain damage after stroke according to the researchers.

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