This Fanged Fish Has Heroin-Like Venom That Prevents Pain

Posted: Mar 31 2017, 5:01am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 31 2017, 8:05am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

This Fanged Fish has Heroin-Like Venom
The fanged fish's heroin-like venom could lead to pain treatments. Image courtesy of Alex Riberio
  • Small Fish delivers a Painless Bite thanks to Opioid Venom in its Fangs

A small tropical fish happens to deliver a painless bite thanks to opioid venom in its fangs.

A tropical fish by the name of the fang blenny can be found in tropical waters. It packs a vicious bite which despite its dangerous-looking fangs is not painful.

That is due to the heroin-like venom consisting of opioids that it delivers with the motion of its jaws. Scientists are very interested in all this since it could pave the way for better and more effective painkillers in the future.

This particular fish may be found in the Pacific Ocean. It is especially common around the Great Barrier Reef. As the fish bites other fish, it injects morphine-like venom into their flesh which thus stops pain dead in its tracks instead of causing it.

The venom is singular in its action and chemical composition. The bitten fish become woozy thanks to the venom. The fang blenny is a popular tropical aquarium fish as well. They belong to the genus Melacanthus.

These are fish that have intrigued scientists and piqued their curiosity. Their venom is a source of amazement and fascination for the experts who are still unable to wrap their heads around the idea of what these fish accomplish via a simple bite.

These fish challenge predators several sizes bigger than them. Also they compete for space with fish that are similar to them. The real weapons of these fish are two grooved teeth situated on the lower jaw that are linked to poison glands.

The special venom possessed by the fang blenny is something that allows it to escape predators and defeat similar-sized fish. This fish is a unique example of why we need to conserve marine wildlife. The opioid venom of the fang blenny may provide raw materials for the painkillers of the future.

The findings of this research got published in the journal Current Biology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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