Maastricht contributes to snake venom research

03-02-2020

MAASTRICHT. It was world news last week: researchers from the Hubrecht Institute have cultivated a mini venom gland that can actually produce snake venom. The University of Maastricht also contributed: Peter Peters, professor of nanobiology, and Carmen López Iglesias, associate professor of cell biology, made microscopic images of the cells of organoids (specially cultivated mini-organs) and saw structures resembling the vesicles with venom in real venom glands.

Snake venom components form the basis of many drugs, such as blood pressure lowers and diabetes medications. It is also used to develop an antidote against snake bites, something that kills 150,000 people worldwide every year. Until now, living snakes had to be milked, as it is called. This is not without danger and requires that people keep snakes on farms. Now the scientists only need a little bit of tissue from the snake and can grow a poison gland themselves.

That means they have access to an infinite amount of poison for extensive study. A biobank can also be created with the tissue of snakes. This way, for example, the tissue and thus the poison of endangered species are preserved.

That means they have access to an infinite amount of poison for extensive study. A biobank can also be created with the tissue of snakes. This way, for example, the tissue and thus the poison of endangered species are preserved.

Maastricht contributes to snake venom research
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