Looking at a few hours worth of e-mail, even if you’re not logged into my inbox, you’re bound to have a myriad of sales pitches from a bootleg drug vendors. For now, you’ll probably just enlarge your penis or bypass the doctor for some counterfeit Canadian anti-depressants and valium. You probably won’t be getting any black mamba venom, unless you’ve got a guy on the Deep Web who will sell it to you for bitcoin (by the way, anyone know a guy for rhino horn?). But with the discovery that the venom contains an awesome painkiller, that might soon change.
Mambalgins, a protein from the snake’s venom, is supposedly as strong or stronger than morphine, with little or none of the classic painkiller side-effects. The tooth-juice is now being attributed by French scientists as ‘an entirely new class of analgesics.’
I can only imagine the attempts and failures of a few good junkies desperately pacing through some African savanna somewhere with the dirty mind to score some fang. The big question is, how do you use the most deadly snake venom on the planet to cure pain? Simple, you just extract and isolate the peptides mambalgin-1 and mambalgin-2 from the snake’s venom, so that you get just the pain-killing stuff and none of the parts that will paralyze and kill the shit out of somebody.
As cool this sounds, I can’t help but remember what David Attenborough and BBC has previously said in this high-contrast, color-corrected segment about Africa’s ‘scariest snake’ (skip to 1:42):
In Nice, scientists that are experimenting with the mambalgins still breed some skepticism as to whether or not the drug will have the same effects on humans or birds as it does on mice. Researchers have a long list of species to try it out on before we know if this stuff will actually work on humans. And, of course, it’s not easy to extract the compounds, but if it proves promising, it will hopefully be synthesized. If that happens, I imagine it won’t be long before Dr. Feelgood is clogging up your inbox with ads for snake juice.