Navigation Links
Cone of poison: The secret behind the cone snail's venom pump
Date:10/27/2010

Scientists have discovered the secret of how an amazing sea snail injects its venom after shooting a harpoon-like tooth into its prey or some unlucky swimmer at jetliner speeds. The creatures, called cone snails, use a highly specialized structure that instantly pumps the paralyzing venom through the tooth and into its target. Their study appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research.

Helena Safavi-Hemami, Anthony Purcell and colleagues note that cone snails live mainly in the shallows of the world's tropical oceans. Prized by sea-shell collectors for their beautiful shells, the snails are up to 9 inches long. Their mouths have a blow-gun-like structure that shoots a barbed dart-like "tooth" at about 400 miles per hour. The tooth injects venom into fish, worms, or other prey. The snails occasionally sting swimmers, causing pain and sometimes death. They can reload the shooter with additional harpoons. The venom is produced in the venom duct, a long tube attached to the harpoon on one end and to the venom bulb in the snail's mouth.

The scientists' analysis of proteins in venom bulbs found high concentrations of arginine kinase, a protein that enables squid and scallops to swim away from danger with extreme speed. Its abundance in the bulb suggests that arginine kinase enables the venom bulb to undergo rapid, repeated contractions to quickly force the venom through the venom duct to the harpoon and into the prey, the scientists say. The scientists also identified specialized muscles in the venom bulb that appear to aid in this process.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Poison: Its whats for dinner
2. Poison: Its whats for dinner
3. The secret life of Irelands smooth-hound sharks
4. Looking for secrets to drug addiction in our blood
5. Neutrons helping ORNL researchers unlock secrets to cheaper ethanol
6. Ancient brew masters tapped antibiotic secrets
7. Secrets of the gecko foot help robot climb
8. Frozen flies may yield secrets for human organ transplants
9. Unlocking the secrets of RNA biology with WIREs
10. The secret of life may be as simple as what happens between the sheets -- mica sheets
11. Scientists unlock secret of rabies transmission in bats
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... OAI, a leading ... and Microfluidics Industries, announces the new Model 800E front and backside, semi-automatic mask ... production mask aligners. OAI has already received and installed several orders for ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... , ... August 16, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting ... in sessions at the ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo , to be held ... Marina. The event’s theme is “Driving innovation to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... While art and science are often thought ... than one might think. A Mesh Is Also a Snare, a group exhibition ... Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) on August 17 and run through September 30. ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Aug. 16, 2017  This year,s edition of the Inc. 5000 features ... sciences workforce solutions, has made the list for the third year in ... nation,s fastest-growing private companies based on a set of quantitative metrics. In ... the fastest-growing companies in the Bay State . ... Inc. 5000 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: