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Bee venom is no doubt poisonous and lethal but according to this new research reported by Time.com, certain parts of bee venom could bear the potential of treating cancer. For the study, the researchers extracted proteins and peptides from bee and scorpion venom to test their effect on tumor cells. The results showed that a specific compound called melittin present in bee venom blocked the growth of tumor cells and prevented the spread of those malignant cells without having any side-effect on the patients.
Injecting pure bee venom in humans could be lethal so the researchers synthesised melittin in laboratory for carrying out the test. The findings were presented at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
According to lead researcher of the study Dipanjan Pan the venom component was safe when used with nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory. The nanoparticles act as a vehicle to transport the toxin directly to the cancer cells, without harming the normal cells.
Image source: Getty images
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