Could this poisonous caterpillar save a life?

Typically, terms such as poisonous and life-saving don’t coincide with one another. If anything, these terms are anatomical, and normally speaking, we wouldn’t think of poison as being something that could save a life rather than take one.

That being said, an article by Good News Network caught my eye as it discusses a specific poisonous caterpillar whose venom could actually save someone from dying. Check it out.

“The venom of one Australian caterpillar shows promise for use in medicines and pest control, researchers say.

“The Doratifera vulnerans is common to large parts of Queensland’s south-east and is routinely found in Toohey Forest Park on Brisbane’s southside.

“Dr Andrew Walker at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience has been researching the striking looking caterpillar since 2017.

“Dr Walker’s research found the caterpillar has venom toxins with a molecular structure similar to those produced by spiders, wasps, bees, and ants.

“The research also unlocked a source of bioactive peptides that may have uses in medicine, biotechnology or as scientific tools.

“The researcher team synthesized 13 of the peptide toxins and used them to show the unique evolutionary trajectory the caterpillar followed to produce pain-inducing venom.

“Some peptides already produced in the laboratory as part of Dr Walker’s research showed very high potency, with potential to efficiently kill nematode parasites that are harmful to livestock, as well as disease-causing pathogens.

“The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA,” the article explains.

While a form of a paradox, there are other instances in which poison can actually work to heal as opposed to cause potentially life-threatening damage, and this caterpillar is no exception. It’s mind-blowing what we are able to find with science and research, and the information in this article, I believe, really and truly emphasizes this.


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