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I don't normally look to Daily Kos for science (in fact, I only check the site maybe once a week or two). This is too cool not to share.

Imagine being able to apply a paste to the wound, shine some light on it, and have the wound seal up and stop bleeding in less than a minute. A group of researchers from China and Canada have teamed up with a highly venomous pit viper, Bothrops atrox, to provide just this kind of solution. They reported it July 14 in Science Advances.


With no treatment, blood around a wound (or out in the open) tends to clot within 5 to 6 minutes. We’ve all gotten moderate cuts, and that time sounds about right. And that’s exactly what was seen in this test. The current standard sealant that surgeons use is “fibrin glue” (fibrinogen and thrombin in a sealant goop), but fibrin glue took about 75 seconds to induce the same amount of clotting as HAD achieved in 45.

HAD goop is able to penetrate into the “nooks and crannies” of a wound, so once it sets, it’s hard to dislodge. Visible light from the blue-light pen can penetrate at least 2.5 mm into tissue, so you can get a pretty thick seal this way.


The stoppage of bleeding was maintained here even after twisting and bending. In fact, HAD showed almost ten times the shear strength and adhesive strength of fibrin glue. That means a patient treated in the field can withstand more movement, making things easier and less risky for the EMTs.

The science is interesting--read the article.
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It's interesting, especially because the venom from the fer-de-lance is hemo-toxic. It prevents blood clotting. So the bite won't stop bleeding, and as it enters your system it causes internal bleeding of various organs.

But in this case it's accelerating clotting.

Snake venom is amazing stuff. If I were a chemist, I would probably study that. I believe there have been treatments for some conditions that have arisen out of the chemistry of snake venom.

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“There is a frog
In South America
Whose venom is the cure
For all the suffering mankind may endure.
More powerful than morphine
And soothing as the womb
A frog in South America
Has the antidote for pain”

Paul Simon

yeah we need to make sure these critters don’t go extinct before we find out if maybe they’re useful. Imagine the battlefield use for a fast clotting agent as well.
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Fascinating, especially since the fer-de-lance is such a deadly snake that kills so many in Latin America.
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