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Environment & Science

Here's how tarantula venom can help make better pain meds




A tarantula
A tarantula
Stewart Black, Flickr Creative Commons

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Here are two words that don't usually go together: Venom and library. Venom library.

Somewhere in Australia, the venom of some creepy, crawly critters like snakes, spiders and scorpions, is being housed in the name of science and research. 

In fact, this venom library has been extremely helpful to scientists right here in California. The team at UC San Francisco's David Julius Lab has discovered that the tarantula, of all creatures, could actually help improve pain medication.

David Julius, who runs the lab, says that understanding how toxins target pain mechanisms inside the body, could lead to the development of new pain meds.  

To listen to the full interview, click on the blue audio player above.