Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Redneck Wonder Drug...!

I've heard some crazy things before, but this one caught me off guard!

Guess that Rednecks have always had a special secret knowledge about the 'possum, so secret that a lot of Rednecks didn't even know! I'm one of the ones that didn't get the memo, I reckon!

Opossum protein neutralizes nearly all poisons, could have benefits for humans
By Eric Pfeiffer

The American opossum is invulnerable to nearly all forms of poison. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)Opossums may someday provide an antidote to nearly all forms of poison, including everything from snakebites to ricin.

The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins has found that the American opossum produces a protein known as Lethal Toxin-Neutralizing Factor (LTNF). And as the Boing Boing blog points out, the LTNF protein is exactly what it sounds like, seeking out otherwise lethal poisons that have entered an opossum's body and neutralizing them.

Amazingly, tests on the opossum LTNF found that the protein even left the marsupial creatures immune to poisons from snakes on other continents that the American opossum had not been previously exposed to.

The BittelMeThis blog goes into further detail, explaining that scientists then injected mice with the LTNF protein and subjected the rodents to venom from otherwise deadly creatures, including Thailand cobras, Australian taipans, Brazilian rattlesnakes, scorpions and honeybees.

When the venom did not kill the mice, the mice were then exposed to deadly poisons, including ricin and botulinum toxin. And again, the LTNF protein was able to diffuse the poison, leaving the mice unharmed.

Interestingly, the journal entry on LTNF was published more than 10 years ago, in 1999. As several readers have pointed out, this raises questions as to whether the protein benefits would be applicable to humans and why the test results are only now making news.

As the journal's own abstract notes, "Thus, natural LTNF from opossum serum has potential as a universal therapy for envenomation caused by animals, plants and bacteria."

You have to wonder why this stuff is just now coming to light! Seems like this would be important enough to spend more time researching! But what do I know?

Better have our coffee inside today. Still raining off and on daily!


Anonymous said...

That just shows we still have lots to learn about this world!
I guess medical companies would loose a lot of money if we actually could use this protein ourselves, so I'm not surprised nothing has happened since this was published!

Have a great day!

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Interesting article.
Now if we only knew the purpose of a groundhog!
Forgot what rain feels like - we sure do need it here!

Gorges Smythe said...

It's hard for researchers to get past a possum's looks, perhaps.

As for groundhogs, they were meant to replace squirrels on the dinner table during the summer months.

Momlady said...

Hmmm, I'll have to ask the next 'possum that comes up on the porch if it knows.

linda m said...

Very interesting article. Always wondered what good an opossum was for except eating - now I know. Could you please send some of your rain up here to S.E. Wisconsin? We desperately need it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
That I can't help with. Never lived around ground hogs before!

I'm sure that there must be something you could use 'em for, but I just can't come up with it right now!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Gorges...
That could be it, for sure! They are an ugly critter!

Groundhog on the table has to be a better looking meal!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Momlady...
I had no idea that you spoke 'possum! You do get some pretty regular visits from them, don't you?

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Hey Linda...
Guess that everything in this old world has some good quality to it! Just hard to tell sometimes!

Thanks for coming over today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Do they have opossums in Sweden? I wasn't sure if they did or not!

You are probably right about the study being slowed down by the big money drug companies! They have a lot of clout!

Thanks, my friend, for dropping by today!

Sixbears said...

They don't quite make it up my way. Some are in southern NH, but tend to have short tails and ragged ears due to frostbite. No kidding.

Interesting discovery about a fairly common critter.

Cold brewed Chichory blend coffee this morning.

JOJO said...

Very interesting. I hope it makes it to the market soon. With rattle snake bites on the rise in AZ.

I don't do much hicking anymore I hate those things.

I'll take a refill please.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
Funny, but I never thought that 'possums would be that far up north!

how exactly do you make your cold brewed coffee? I've never tried Chichory before!

Thanks for coming by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
I read yesterday that snakebites are up all over the country!

Sure have to be careful out there! Tell Fred to stay on the watch as well!

Might not hurt to get you a good pair of boots!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by this morning!

Labrys said...

Those poor little buggers need something in their favor; they die by the hundreds on our Washington State roads every summer.

Mithridatium on feet....who knew!

HermitJim said...

Hey Labrys...
Like you, I reckon these guys can use all the help they can get in the popularity department! They seem to have the ugly market cornered !

I sure appreciate you coming by today!