Scientists Can Potentially Mass-Produce Snake Venom With New Technique To Make Antivenom
The Atlantic: There’s a Perfectly Good Reason to Mass-Produce Snake Venom
“…The venom glands of snakes are among nature’s most potent weapons. Hans Clevers can now grow them in his lab, mass-producing little disembodied blobs that secrete the same cocktail of toxins as their natural counterparts. … There’s something a little sinister about a lab that can mass-produce snake venom, but these organoids have many beneficial uses. Snakebites, which kill between 81,000 and 138,000 people every year, have been described as ‘arguably the world’s biggest hidden health crisis.’ … Antivenom, the only proven treatment for snakebites, is made by collecting venom from live snakes, injecting it into horses, and harvesting the antibodies that the animals produce — a technique that hasn’t changed for centuries. Organoids offer a more modern approach…” (Yong, 1/23).