For most of us, the idea of the antivenom is just a traditional plot point in adventure stories from the old American West to the dusty tombs of Egypt. Whenever a rattlesnake or scorpion bites, pursuit of the relevant antivenom becomes a sudden priority for our heroes. But outside of Hollywood script mechanics, how does antivenom actually work?
Well, it's complicated, and in many parts of the world, antivenom is a very real danger. Venom and antivenom both work on the molecular level, triggering bodily responses that can cause pain, paralysis and death. Most antivenom varieties are particular to a specific venom, and creating them is a complex and expensive proposition. But we may be on to a new process that can work against multiple venom types, according to research published in the journal Neglected Tropical Diseases (really). Jules Suzdaltsev has the details in today's DNews report.
Popular Mechanics: How To Make Antivenom - And Why The World Is Running Short
Futurism: Venomous vs Poisonous: What Is the Difference Between Venom, Poison, and Toxins?
Science Alert: The last supplies of an important snake antivenom just expired - and that's a problem