Opossums can’t be poisoned

Image Credit: animal.discovery.com.

A serum derived from the humble Opossum, who seems to be protected against any form of poisoning, could completely revolutionise the way snake bites are treated.

Some scientists have done some tests on a natural lethal toxin neutralizing factor (LTNF) occurring in the Opossum.

The study concludes:

“On the other hand, LTNF is effective against the venoms of all species of snakes. Therefore, LTNF can become a universal treatment for snakebites. Furthermore, LTNF is effective against scorpion and bee venoms, plant-derived ricin and bacterial toxin botulinum. Therefore, LTNF can become a universal treatment for toxins derived from animals, plants, and bacteria. In the standard treatment for snakebites, massive amounts of antivenom are administered for effectiveness, even though a large part of the population is hypersensitive to antivenom made in horses. Under such conditions, LTNF will be a most favorable replacement. It is further anticipated that the invention of LTNF has military applications due to the variety of unknown exposures that can occur under military conditions.”

So cool. BoingBoing has a bit of a story on the test that makes it clear just how awesome this gear is – some rats who had the serum introduced were also immune to poisoning.