A Wasp with a Good Kind of Venom

polybia-paulista

Typically when I’m reading about wasps I’m about to see some apocalyptic horror, and the first five words of IB Times’s article had me convinced the pattern was going to continue.

Brazilian wasp venom that kills-

“Oh God.”

-cancer cells holds potential for anti-caner drugs

“Waitaminute.  What?”

I must’ve read that a solid 4, 5 times, so assuming Kroger didn’t put anything in my orange juice it must be right.

The wasp’s venom is composed of many different chemical compounds, but one of them, Polybia paulista (Polybia-MP1) has has been discovered to kill cancer cells without damaging the normal ones.  The research was published in the Cell Press journal Biophysical Journal to show exactly how it interacts with the lipids on the cancer cell’s surface, and how it damages the molecules that are critical for the cell’s function to leak out.  Sadly the reason why it can destroy those cells while leaving the others unharmed still isn’t known.

Regardless though, it’s a massive discovery for the medical community, as well as the rest of the population that’s been so torn apart by the disease.  Maybe something we fear can help us irradiate something we fear even more.

For once, I think I’m on the wasp’s side.

For a continued reading, click here for IB Time’s article on the matter.

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