The venom of one of world's deadliest snakes could relieve pain, say scientists
A snake with the largest venom glands in the world could hold the answer to pain relief, scientists have found.
Dubbed the "killer of killers", the long-glanded blue coral snake is known to prey on the likes of king cobras.
The venom of the two-metre-long snake native to South East Asia acts "almost immediately" and causes prey to spasm.
New research published in the journal Toxin found it targets receptors which are critical to pain in humans and could be used as a method of treatment.
"Most snakes have a slow-acting venom that works like a powerful sedative. You get sleepy, slow, before you die," said Dr Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland who is one of a team of researchers working on a study into the effect of the snake's venom.
"This snake's venom however, works almost immediately because it usually preys on very dangerous animals that need to be quickly killed before they can retaliate. It's the killer of killers."