30th March 2015
Though some may consider them a nuisance, opossums are amazingly hardy and opportunistic eaters, feeding on everything from the contents of a garbage can to fruits or snails. They also eat snakes and, thanks to an evolutionary chemical arms race, are immune to basically every kind of snake venom. Now, a team of researchers has isolated the peptide from the opossum that makes the animals resistant to snake bites, hoping to use it as a new, inexpensive antivenom in humans. The researchers presented their work on Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.
Well, you knew they had to be good for something.